The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation. Every year, up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world will receive full funding to pursue any graduate degree at Stanford, including the DMA, JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MS, and PhD programs, as well as joint- and dual-degrees. Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully endowed scholars program in the world.

The program seeks global leaders who “out-think,” “out-work,” and “out-care,” and looks primarily at three areas: independence of thought, purposeful leadership, and civic mindset. 

General Eligibility

Please see the program website for specific eligibility requirements.

  • Class year: Seniors and alumni at the time of application who are applying to pursue an eligible graduate degree at Stanford University. You are eligible to apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars if you apply during your final year of study for your first/bachelor's degree or within six years of earning your first/bachelor’s degree. That means you must have graduated in January 2014 through September 2021 to enroll at Stanford in September 2021. U.S. military (active or veteran) applicants receive a two-year extension of eligibility due to service commitments: you are eligible if you earned your undergraduate (bachelor's or first) degree in 2012 or later.

  • Citizenship: The program encourages applications from citizens of all countries.

  • GPA: No specific minimum but must be competitive for admission to a Stanford graduate program. Check admissions requirements for your chosen Stanford degree program.

Other eligibility guidelines:

  • Candidates must apply separately to the Stanford graduate degree program they wish to pursue in addition to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.

  • The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program does not defer scholar offers. 

Application Process

The 2020-2021 application process is outlined on Handshake (login required).To be considered, you must apply to both the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program as well as for your chosen graduate degree program of study at Stanford University. Carefully review the Application Requirements on the Knight-Hennessy Scholars website.

Knight-Hennessy Scholars will also accept endorsement from a candidate’s undergraduate institution. Candidates who wish to be considered for endorsement must contact Gaylena Merritt, Sr. Assistant Director for Fellowships and Scholarships, as soon as possible to discuss their candidacy.

Learn More

For more information, contact the Fellowships and Scholarships Program at, or schedule a Fellowships & Scholarships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Sr. Assistant Director for Fellowships & Scholarships, through Handshake (login required).