The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program cultivates a diverse, multidisciplinary community of emerging leaders from around the world and guides them to collaborate, innovate, and communicate as they prepare to address the complex challenges facing society. Knight-Hennessy Scholars become part of a supportive family of fellow scholars. Through the King Global Leadership Program, scholars will broaden knowledge, develop skills, and strengthen character; this platform provides a collection of community experiences, workshops, meetings with leaders, domestic and global study trips, and personal development opportunities. Knight-Hennessy Scholars also receive funding for graduate study at Stanford University.
Each year up to 90 high-achieving students who are independent thinkers, display purposeful leadership, and have a civic mindset will join a diverse cohort of Knight-Hennessy Scholars.
- Join a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to tackling the world’s challenges.
- Experience the King Global Leadership platform of personal development opportunities, with coaching and feedback, and the opportunity to learn from diverse leaders from different walks of life.
- Receive full funding for up to three years of your graduate degree program at Stanford, plus a stipend for room and board.
- Build skills in leadership and communication that will empower you to work across disciplines and to scale creative solutions for complex challenges.
- The deadline to apply for the 2021 cohort is Wednesday, October 14, 2020, at 1:00 pm Pacific Time.
The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is designed to be open to a broad set of qualified applicants. As such, there are no restrictions based on citizenship, age, field of study, career aspiration, etc. — nor are applicants required to seek endorsements from institutions.
Beyond eligibility for your graduate program, the eligibility factor is the year you received your undergraduate degree. Please use the guidelines below to determine whether you are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program for autumn 2021 enrollment.
Unsure if you are eligible to be a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University? Answer a few simple questions and we can guide you.
Did you (or will you by September 2021) earn your undergraduate degree at an institution in the United States or outside the United States?
Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants from All Countries Welcome
We encourage applications to Knight-Hennessy Scholars from residents of all countries.
Any Academic Discipline in any of Stanford’s Graduate Schools
You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you are applying to enroll in a full-time graduate program
(s) at Stanford (for example, but not limited to, DMA, JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MPP, MS, or PhD) or if you plan on pursuing one of Stanford’s many joint- and dual- graduate degree options (for example, but not limited to, MD+PhD, JD+MA, MBA+MS).
While we are excited to build a cohort that reflects the breadth of excellence at Stanford, there are no allocations or quotas by discipline or program.
Please note, however, that we will give priority to applicants who will spend at least two years at Stanford. We do not believe one year is sufficient to form the community we envision and benefit from the leadership platform we are developing.
Rooted in the year you received your undergraduate degree
You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you received your first/bachelor’s degree in 2014 or later. That means:
- You must have graduated in January 2014 through September 2021 to enroll at Stanford in autumn 2021.
- U.S. military (active or veteran) applicants: You receive a two-year extension of eligibility due to longer service commitments. You are eligible if you earned your undergraduate (bachelor's or first) degree in 2012 or later.
If you are still in college studying for your first/bachelor’s degree, you are eligible to apply as long as you will complete your first/bachelor’s degree before you enroll as a graduate student at Stanford.
New Leaders for New Challenges
We believe the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program will attract the most promising future leaders from all disciplines and geographies. As a scholar, you will broaden your knowledge, develop skills, and strengthen your character; this will prepare you to effect positive change.
What We're Seeking in a Scholar
There is neither a typical nor an ideal Knight-Hennessy Scholar. In selecting Knight-Hennessy Scholars, we look primarily at three areas:
1. Independence of Thought
2. Purposeful Leadership
- Exhibits first-step mental sharpness
- Seeks out knowledge and new experiences
- Full of original ideas
- Makes sense of ambiguity
- Can hold a contrarian or dissenting point of view
3. Civic Mindset
- Ambitious, in the best sense
- Driven to improve self
- Able to bring others along
- Persistent and resilient
- Personally humble and kind
- Supportive and accountable
- Embraces difference
- Concerned for and helpful to others
We find evidence of these selection criteria throughout your application and, if you are selected as a finalist, at Immersion Weekend. We look forward to getting to know you, what you have done, your influences, ideals, hopes, and dreams.