Knight-Hennessy Scholarship

Is it for you?

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program provides up to three years of funding toward a graduate degree in any discipline at Stanford University. It is designed to build a community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world’s greatest challenges.

What are the key dates?

Information sessions:

A Knight-Hennessy admissions officer will be on campus to offer a live info session on:

Knight-Hennessy representatives offer numerous virtual information sessions during each application cycle – details are on the Knight-Hennessy website.

Official deadline:  October 9, 2024, 1 pm PT (4 pm ET)

Are you eligible?

Candidates for the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship:

  • can be citizens of any country.
  • must apply to enroll in a full-time graduate degree program at Stanford (e.g., JD, MA, MBA, MD, MS, or PhD) or plan on pursuing one of Stanford’s many joint- and dual-graduate degree options (e.g., MD+PhD, JD+MA, MBA+MS).
  • must be college seniors or alumni who have completed their bachelor’s degree within the past four years at the time of application (students who have subsequently completed an additional degree are eligible to apply).
  • cannot have already begun the graduate program at Stanford for which funding is sought.

How do you work with the NFP?

No institutional endorsement is required for the Knight-Hennessy application and JHU does not provide endorsements, due to the large number of applicants. Applicants simply submit their complete application to the online portal by the official deadline.

This program allows each campus to define its own advising process. The NFP does not meet individually with Knight-Hennessy applicants but encourages applicants to use the abundant advising resources made available on the Knight-Hennessy website (see below under “Have a closer look”). Our advice to applicants is distilled into these PDF Document: NFP guidelines, which include advice on how to select recommenders.

If you are planning to apply for this award, you should register on the Knight-Hennessy application portal as soon as possible to start receiving their notifications about the application process.

AprilAttend an info session
May – early October Work on application materials
mid-OctoberMeet the Knight-Hennessy official deadline

Are you competitive?

Up to 100 scholarships are awarded each year: around one-third will be awarded to U.S. citizens and two-thirds to citizens of any other country. Applicants must simultaneously apply for graduate admissions to their selected department or school at Stanford in Fall 2020 (date TBD) to be considered for the Knight-Hennessy.

Selection decisions are based on the following criteria:

  • Independence of Thought: Applicants should demonstrate independence of thought in academic and non-academic settings. Examples include: seeking out knowledge and new experiences, developing original ideas, making sense of ambiguous situations, and the ability to hold a contrarian or dissenting point of view.
  • Purposeful Leadership: Leadership can be shown through classwork, participation in student or community organizations, and through work experience. Applicants should demonstrate ambition, drive to improve oneself, willingness to take risks, and the ability to overcome adversity.
  • Civic Mindset: Examples include being personally humble and kind, inclusiveness, openness to differences, and desire to help others.

Please note that priority is given to applicants who are pursuing graduate programs that last more than one year.

Applicants should demonstrate the above criteria throughout the following application materials:

  • Online application: Including personal and academic information.
  • Transcript: An unofficial transcript is required for the online application.
  • Test scores: Applicants must include test scores if they are required by the graduate degree program being pursued (e.g., LSAT for the J.D. program).
  • Résumé/CV: You will include a one-page résumé or curriculum vitae that provides an overview of your education, personal activities, and professional experiences.
  • Short answers and essay: You will write four short responses (150 words maximum) to questions about your academic and career plans and to personal questions. You will also write a longer essay (600 words maximum) in response to the prompt, “Connect the dots. How have the influences in your life shaped you?”
  • Video submission:  This medium gives you a chance to introduce yourself and present a different view of the person we’ve met in your application. You will record a two-minute video within the application in response to the prompt, “Teach something to your cohort of fellow Knight-Hennessy Scholars.”
  • Two letters of recommendation: In the online application, you will submit the names and contact information of two individuals who know you well to provide specific examples, anecdotes, and evidence of your ability and determination to make a difference.
    1. College seniors should supply two non-academic references that address their personal character, competence, leadership experiences, and potential (two non-academic references are required because the NFP does not provide an institutional endorsement in lieu of one letter).
    2. Graduates should supply two non-academic letters of recommendation that speak to your personal competence and character.

Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

Knight-Hennessy Scholars

Explore JHU and NFP Resources

PDF Document: Our guidelines provide advice on how to select recommenders

Hear from JHU Recipients

HUB article on Ank Agarwal and Anson Zhou, 2024 Knight-Hennessy Scholars

HUB article on Nikhil Gupta and Katherine Hu, 2022 Knight-Hennessy Scholars

HUB article on Neil Rens, 2020 Knight-Hennessy Scholar

Start Your Application

Knight-Hennessy Scholarship Application Portal