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Application Requirements

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The Knight-Hennessy Scholars application submission deadline has passed.

Below, we explain what the application process entails. There are two applications: one is for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, and the other is for your Stanford graduate degree program.

Application One: Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

We highly recommend that you apply using a current version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

You must submit all Knight-Hennessy Scholars application materials in English.

Application Requirements

You must complete and submit the online application for admission (including personal and academic information, etc.). We will ask for basic biographic and demographic details, as well as explanations of your activities and interests. There is no application fee for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, but you must pay the application fee required of your graduate degree program.

For reference only, here is a PDF sample of this year's application. (3 MB PDF)

Did you earn a degree at an institution outside the U.S.? To be eligible for graduate study, you must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from a college or university of recognized standing. See Stanford's guidelines for minimum level of study. (For questions on this policy, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions, not the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.)

Provide an unofficial or self-reported transcript of your academic performance in college and, if applicable, graduate school for each institution you attended for an academic year or longer. If you are unable to provide an unofficial transcript, you may download the self-reported transcript template here. Your transcript must, if applicable, include the degree conferred and the conferral date. We do not need transcripts from study-abroad experiences if those credits are included on your transcript.

​​Check with your graduate degree program for its standardized testing policies. If your graduate degree program does not require standardized tests, you are not required to submit them to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, either. You must submit any required test scores by the graduate degree program deadline, not by the time you apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. For any required standardized test scores, your self-reported scores will suffice for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. 

You must be fluent in English — listening, reading, speaking, and writing — to study at Stanford. The minimum TOEFL score for most graduate programs at Stanford is 100iBT or 600PBT. All Stanford graduate degree programs accept the TOEFL, and the MBA Program also accepts the IELTS and PTE. If you have a degree from a university at which English is the official and sole language of instruction, then you do not need results of an English proficiency exam. Otherwise, you do. Your citizenship, residence, and/or work experience do not exempt you from this requirement. You may read more about this policy on the Graduate Admissions website (TOEFL) or MBA Admission website (TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE).

You will include a resumé that frames your intellectual, personal, and professional background and accomplishments. Our rule is one page for every decade of experience after secondary school.

Select two recommenders who know you well, whose opinions you trust, and who want to see you succeed. These individuals must be able to provide specific examples, anecdotes, and evidence of your ability and determination to make a difference. Register these recommenders through your online application as early in the application process as possible. Both letters of recommendation must be submitted by the application deadline: September 12, 2018 at 1:00 Pacific Time.

The application system will send each recommender a personalized link to submit her/his recommendation online. For verification purposes, register your recommender using her/his work email account, not a personal account such as Gmail, Yahoo!, etc. Here are a few things to consider as you choose recommenders:

  • In general, we care about the content of the letter, not the title or position of the person who wrote it.
  • Your Knight-Hennessy Scholars recommendations are the only reference letters that we will review before we provide input to your graduate program.
  • Once your graduate program shares its feedback with Knight-Hennessy Scholars, we also will review your departmental recommendation letters. As such, your recommendation choices for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program should make a compelling independent case, and also complement the references of your graduate program.
  • It's fine to ask the same person to provide recommendations for your graduate program and for Knight-Hennessy Scholars, but ensure that he/she submits distinctive letters of reference that address the questions each application requires.

We ask your recommenders to assess some character and leadership traits in the reference letters, and to address the following:

  1. Please explain how you know and interact with the applicant.
  2. Please tell us about a time the applicant did something that benefited others.
  3. Please tell us about a time the applicant faced adversity.
  4. Please tell us about a time the applicant surprised you.
  5. Is there anything else that we should know about the applicant?

These reflections give us a chance to understand who you are and how you aspire to grow and learn. There are two prompts:

  1. Connect the dots. How have the influences in your life shaped you?
  2. How will you pursue your life’s calling? How will your Stanford education and your Knight-Hennessy Scholars experience support this?

You may submit a maximum total of 1,750 words for both essays combined.

These responses help to see a different side of you. We ask you to answer two questions:

  1. Please tell us eight improbable facts about you.
  2. Please list three goals/objectives that you are working toward right now. (No, being admitted to Stanford and/or being selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar can't count as one of those goals.)

Although we cannot meet in-person with each applicant to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, we invite you to submit a video on the below prompt that gives us a chance to "meet" you. There is no attention — zero emphasis! — on the "production value" of your video.

You must record the video using the online application. We cannot review videos on other sites, and you may not upload external videos to the online application.

Your video can be no longer than two minutes in duration. If you only need 30 seconds to answer, that's fine. There is no expectation or obligation for you to speak for the maximum time.

Prompt: Teach something to your cohort of fellow Knight-Hennessy Scholars.

We will invite up to 150 finalists for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program to visit Stanford, at our expense, for Immersion Weekend on February 8-10, 2019.  Immersion Weekend will give you a chance to learn more about your graduate degree program, about the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, about Stanford University, about your fellow Scholars, and about yourself. It is also an opportunity for Stanford to learn more about you. 

Application Two: Graduate Degree Program

Don't forget that you still need to apply separately to the specific Stanford graduate degree program that you want to pursue for fall 2019. This is essential! The deadline for your graduate degree program depends on the specific program, but will be earlier than that program’s standard admission deadline in almost all cases. When you submit your application to your graduate degree program, all materials must be complete. 

Graduate Degree Program Application Opens  Application Deadline
MD Program,
School of Medicine
June 2018 AMCAS Deadline:
September 29, 2018*
MBA Program,
Graduate School of Business
June 2018 Round 1 Deadline:
September 18, 2018**
JD and advanced degrees,
Stanford Law School
August 2018 November 14, 2018*
Any other Stanford graduate degree program September 2018 No later than November 14, 2018

*MD and JD/LLM/SPILS applicants: The deadline shown in this table corresponds to the date by when Stanford must receive your complete application materials. As it may take a couple of weeks for applications to be processed through AMCAS or LSAC, we strongly encourage you to submit your application well in advance of the posted deadline.
**MBA applicants: Though the MBA Program has three application rounds, you must apply by the Round 1 deadline

 

  • If you are NOT applying to be a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, then the standard deadline for the degree program applies. These standard deadlines typically are in early December through late January.
  • If you are applying to be a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, then the above deadlines apply, regardless of the standard deadline for the degree program.
  • Applicants to the Stanford Honors Cooperative Program and Master of Liberal Arts are not eligible for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.

Tips for your graduate degree program application

Your application for your graduate degree program must stand on its own. Focus your application solely on your candidacy for that program. Do not consider the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program in your graduate degree program application.

We ultimately will receive access to the degree program applications — the reference letter(s), in particular  as we are making final decisions on candidates to invite to Immersion Weekend. As such, these departmental materials will complement your Knight-Hennessy Scholars application. Again, it's fine if you select the same person(s) to provide recommendations for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program and for your graduate program. Ensure, however, that the letters themselves address the questions each application requires.

Did you earn a degree at an institution outside the U.S.? To be eligible for graduate study, you must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor's degree from a college or university of recognized standing. See Stanford's guidelines for minimum level of study(For questions on this policy, contact the Office of Graduate Admissions, not the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.)

 

Last updated April 26, 2018