Knight Hennessy Scholars

How to apply



Knight Hennessy Scholars (KHS) receive up to three years of funding to pursue graduate studies in any discipline at Stanford University. Scholars participate in the King Global Leadership Program (KGLP)—a program which includes workshops, lectures, and projects designed around the Knight-Hennessy Leadership Model. The Leadership Model describes characteristics and behaviors focused on fostering multidisciplinary and multicultural perspectives, a commitment to the greater good, and the tools to drive meaningful change. Knight Hennessy Scholars are independent thinkers and leaders committed to making meaningful change.


Knight Hennessy Scholars receive several types of funding:

  • A fellowship to cover tuition and associated fees
  • A stipend for living and academic expenses
  • A yearly travel stipend
  • A one-time relocation stipend

Although not guaranteed, Knight Hennessy Scholars may apply to an additional graduate program and extend their funding to up to three years. For degree programs longer than three years, funding is dependent on the program’s standard funding commitment. A list of Knight Hennessy’s funding contributions by degree program is available on their website.


To be eligible for Knight Hennessy Scholars, applicants must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  1. Apply separately but concurrently to KHS and a full-time Stanford graduate program that will both begin in the same year
  2. Have deferred admission to a full-time Stanford graduate program and will apply to KHS such that the two programs will begin in the same year
  3. A current Stanford graduate student who is applying to another Stanford graduate degree program and for whom KHS and the second degree would commence concurrently
  4. A current Stanford graduate student in their first year of enrollment who would start KHS in their second year

Priority is granted to those who plan to spend at least two years studying at Stanford. Applicants must have completed their bachelor’s degree no more than seven years prior to the year in which they will begin their studies at Stanford (e.g., applicants planning to apply for the 2024 cohort must have earned a US bachelor’s degree in January 2017 or later). A full list of eligibility requirements can be found at this link.

Application components

  1. Online Application
  2. Resume
  3. Transcripts & Test Scores
  4. Recommendation Letters
  5. Short Answers & Essay

How to Apply

  1. Only those already interested in pursuing graduate degrees at Stanford should apply for the Knight Hennessy Scholarship. 
    1. First, check that the graduate degree you intend to pursue is offered at Stanford and that the particulars of that program are appropriate to your career plans.
    2. Second, consult with your academic advisor about whether it is realistic that you would be admitted to that graduate program. If you intend to pursue a PhD, you have the option of applying for the Knight Hennessy Scholarship after you are admitted to Stanford; otherwise, you will need to begin your KHS application without knowing whether you will be admitted to your program, so it is best to try to ascertain your chances of admission. Only those who are admitted to their graduate program will be able to take up a Knight Hennessy Scholarship.
  2. Book an appointment to meet with Assistant Director for Fellowships, Erica Kowsz. Send your resume by email ahead of your appointment or bring it with you to the meeting.
  3. Map out your timeline for completing both the KHS application and your Stanford graduate school application.
  4. Complete the written KHS application by the campus deadline, including submitting the two letters of recommendation.
  5. Make revisions in accordance with any feedback on your campus application. (You are able to submit your application with or without a Wesleyan endorsement; endorsements are optional for KHS.)
  6. Submit the written KHS application by the national deadline.
  7. Apply to the graduate program at Stanford of your choice (check carefully the timeline for this–it varies for different programs!)
  8. If you are successful in the first round of application review, you will receive a request to submit a video. Reach out to the Office of Fellowships for support in navigating the video request.
  9. If you are successful in the video round, you will receive an invitation to a campus visit at Stanford. Reach out to the Office of Fellowships to prepare for the campus visit.
  10. A subset of those who attend the campus visit will be selected as Knight Hennessy Scholars.