Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Provides funding for any graduate education at Stanford, including leadership and mentorship opportunities.

Congratulations to Ade Ayoola, UChicago's first Knight-Hennessy Scholar! You can read more about her success here

You are encouraged to visit the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website and view the video detailing the mission of the program before making application. 

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program is designed to build a multidisciplinary community of Stanford graduate students dedicated to finding creative solutions to the world's greatest challenges. Each year the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program will identify a group of 100 high-achieving students from around the world with demonstrated leadership and civic commitment to receive full funding to pursue a wide-ranging graduate education at Stanford, with the goal of developing a new generation of global leaders. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully endowed scholars program in the world. In addition to the opportunities that students will pursue through the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, they will find ample opportunity to build leadership skills specific to their discipline.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program funds up to three years of your graduate education. If your degree program exceeds three years, such as an MD or PhD program, then your home department will fund the remainder of your education to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program.

As a Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University, you receive:

  • a fellowship applied directly to cover your tuition and associated fees, and
  • a generous stipend comprising your on-campus room and board, books and supplies, health insurance and associated fees, travel to and from Stanford, and reasonable personal expenses.

Deadline Information

2018 Campus Primer Deadline (if you missed this deadline, you can still apply. Contact CCSA staff directly.): Monday, May 7, 2018

2018 Campus Endorsement Deadline (current undergraduates): Monday, June 11, 2018

2018 National Deadline (1:00 PM PST): Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Eligibility Requirements

  • The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program is open to citizens of all countries.
  • While there is no minimum GPA for the Knight-Hennessy, you must meet the minimum GPA expectations of your degree program for Stanford admissions. Generally, competitive candidates for a fellowship like the Knight-Hennessy will have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.7 or higher from their undergraduate institution. The University of Chicago will not endorse undergraduate candidates for the Knight-Hennessy with a GPA below 3.5.
  • You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program if you are applying 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). 
  • The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program funds up to three years of your graduate education. If your degree program exceeds three years, such as an MD or PhD program, then your home department will fund the remainder of your education (to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program). Please note that priority is given to applicants who are pursuing graduate programs that last more than one year.
  • You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program if you earned your bachelor’s degree in 2014 or later. Even if you have earned a graduate degree already, you are eligible for consideration as long as you earned your bachelor's degree in 2014 or later.
  • Beyond the eligibility requirements listed above, you are eligible for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program as long as you meet the requirements of the Stanford graduate program that you wish to pursue. You must complete the entire application process for your department - including any standardized test that your discipline requires (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.) and, if needed, an English proficiency test.

Application Process

Current students and UChicago alumni are strongly encouraged to submit a CAMPUS PRIMER. All current University of Chicago undergraduates applying for the Knight-Hennessy must submit a campus endorsement application. Graduate student candidate should work directly with Karen Rosenthal, Director of Fellowships in UChicago Grad.

Campus Endorsement Application Process: Before you begin any of the processes below, please consult carefully the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website

(1) CURRENT UNDERGRADUATES ONLY: If you would like to be considered for institutional endorsement and to secure the required institutional assessment, you must submit a complete campus endorsement application, which includes:

  • Two letters of recommendation specifically for the Knight-Hennesy (ideally these will be different from those submitted for your Stanford application: one (1) academic/research letter of recommendation and one (1) letter of recommendation that details your civic engagement, leadership, or other non-academic engagement. They should be submitted by email directly to Nichole Fazio for the purposes of the campus endorsement process; they will also, ultimately, be uploaded to the Knight-Hennessy website. 
  • Completion of the ONLINE CAMPUS APPLICATION, which includes a CV, personal statement, and short answer questions with regard to your Stanford course of study.
  • Please note, your possible endorsement is contingent on the quality of your campus endorsement application. You are strongly encouraged to reach out to Nichole Fazio for support and essay review in advance of the campus deadline. Please note: essays and application drafts will not be reviewed if sent one-week (or less) before the stated deadline. Please plan ahead and accordingly. 
  • Following your campus endorsement process, the College Center for Scholarly Advancement (CCSA), in partnership with the College Dean's Office, will author your institutional/university endorsement form/letter. Note: the endorsement letter cannot be authored by an academic advisor, departmental contact, other faculty, or career advisor. As with all other nationally competitive scholarships and fellowships, an institutional endorsement letter must be authored by the CCSA and Dean's office.

(2) UChicago Alumni: Alumni are not required to apply for campus endorsement. Please carefully review the Knight-Hennessy application requirements - particularly the letters of recommendation section. You will abide by the same Knight-Hennessy and Stanford deadlines/processes as described on the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program website. CCSA staff is available to help in your application and essay review in advance of the respective deadlines.

Reminders about the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program:

  • All candidates must apply to their respective Stanford University graduate programs, following all of the instructions of their program and/or department. This may include providing writing samples, additional letters of recommendation, official academic transcripts, and standardized test scores. 
  • Stanford Deadline: All candidates for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program MUST SUBMIT their Stanford University admission application by the Knight-Hennessy stated deadline of your selected degree course. Please review the Knight-Hennessy website carefully regarding these deadlines. You must defer to this deadline (not your own departmental or program deadline) in order to compete for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program.
  • The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program will not accept deferals. You should only apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program if you are intent on taking up your graduate place at Stanford University.
  • As a part of the national application, candidates will submit a brief video of introduction.
  • If selected as a national finalist, candidates will participate in an immersion weekend, which includes an interview for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. The CCSA will support all finalists - current students and alum - in preparing for national interviews. 
  • Additional notes: you will apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program and also apply separately to the specific Stanford graduate degree program that you want to earn. If you’re admitted to both, then you enroll in your Stanford home program as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. Your home department will not see your Knight-Hennessy Scholars application. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars team will review your Knight-Hennessy Scholars application and will have access to your departmental recommendation letters and personal statement. 


For more information on this opportunity, please contact: 
Nichole Fazio-Veigel