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Eligibility

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Knight-Hennessy Scholars has no restrictions based on age, college or university, field of study, or career aspiration. We encourage citizens and residents of all countries to apply. We do not require applicants to seek endorsements from colleges, universities, or other institutions. Additionally, there are no quotas by discipline or program.

There are two baseline eligibility requirements.

Requirement 1: Admission to Stanford

First, in addition to applying to Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS), you must apply to, be accepted by, and enroll in a full-time Stanford graduate degree program including, but not limited to, DMA, JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MPP, MS, or PhD programs. You must meet at least one of the following four conditions:

  1. You are applying separately but concurrently to KHS and a full-time Stanford graduate degree program such that you will start both in the same year.
  2. You have already been offered and deferred admission to a full-time Stanford graduate degree program, and will apply to KHS such that you will start both in the same year.
  3. You are a current Stanford graduate student who will apply to add a second full-time Stanford graduate degree program, such that you will start both KHS and the new program in the same year.
  4. You are a current Stanford PhD student in your first year of enrollment, and will apply to KHS such that you will start KHS in your second year of PhD enrollment.  

Please note that the following Stanford graduate degree programs are not eligible for Knight-Hennessy Scholars:

Requirement 2: Undergraduate Degree Date 

Second, you must have earned, in January 2018 or later, a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from a college or university of recognized standing.

To apply to join the cohort in:You must have earned your first bachelor's degree by:
2025January 2018 or later

For applicants who served in the military, we extend the eligibility window by two years in acknowledgement of longer service commitments; you must have earned your degree in January 2016 or later to enroll in 2025. Current college students are eligible if you will earn your first degree by September 2025. Within the eligibility window, we do not give preference based on recency of the degree.


FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Q: What if I graduated from an institution outside the U.S.? What are the eligibility requirements for me?

A: To be eligible for graduate study at Stanford University, you must meet the requirements of the graduate program(s) that you wish to pursue and 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 international applicants. (The Office of Graduate Admissions, not Knight-Hennessy Scholars, sets these policies.)

Q: If I graduated in 2017 or before, may I still become a Knight-Hennessy scholar?

A: If you graduated with your first/bachelor's degree more than seven years before your intended enrollment date (in 2017 or earlier, for the autumn 2025 intake), then you are not eligible for consideration as a Knight-Hennessy scholar. This applies even if you have earned an additional degree in 2018 or later. You may still apply to the Stanford graduate program of your choice, and there are many other options for funding your graduate education at Stanford. (Those who served in their country's military have two additional years of eligibility.)

Q: I am an undocumented student. Am I eligible to apply? 

A: If you have been granted DACA status, do not hold formal citizenship in any country, or are otherwise undocumented, you are eligible to apply for graduate study and matriculate at Stanford University and Knight-Hennessy Scholars. For more information, please see the Undocumented at Stanford website.

Q: I have a graduate degree already. Am I eligible?  

A: If you have earned a graduate degree, you remain eligible to enroll as a Knight-Hennessy scholar in 2025 as long as you earned your first/bachelor's degree in 2018 or later. (Those who served in their country's military after their undergraduate studies have two additional years of eligibility.)

Q: I am an enrolled Stanford graduate student. May I apply for Knight-Hennessy Scholars?

A: If you are a Stanford PhD student who started your PhD in 2024, you may apply in 2024 such that you will start KHS in 2025 (your second year of PhD enrollment). Otherwise, if you enrolled in a graduate degree program at Stanford in 2024 or earlier, you are ineligible for consideration as a Knight-Hennessy scholar for your current degree program. 

Q: I am a Stanford graduate student applying to a different program at the university. Am I eligible to apply this year? 

A: You are welcome to apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars if you defer enrollment to 2025, or if you apply for a new graduate degree program at Stanford that starts in 2025.

Q: May I defer my Knight-Hennessy Scholars offer?  

A: No. Deferral of enrollment to a graduate program is the purview of that department. Most Stanford programs do not offer deferrals though some - such as the professional schools of business, law, and medicine - allow deferrals. Regardless of the graduate program's policy, Knight-Hennessy Scholars does not defer scholar offers. If you are selected as a Knight-Hennessy scholar and are unable to enroll, you must reapply for admission for the year you intend to enroll.

Q: I was accepted this year to Stanford but want to defer my enrollment in the Stanford graduate program until next year. May I apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars for the following year? 

A: If you defer enrollment to a Stanford graduate program, you may apply to start as a Knight-Hennessy scholar for the year that you enroll in that graduate program. For example, if you have been admitted to the Stanford MBA Program and deferred enrollment to September 2025, then you may apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars in 2024 to enroll as a scholar in 2025 — thus aligning your initial enrollment in the MBA Program and as a Knight-Hennessy scholar. If you have already received admission to one of Stanford's graduate programs and deferred enrollment to 2025 or later, you may apply to be a Knight-Hennessy scholar. Plan to apply for the year that you would enroll in your graduate program.

Q: I am a first-year Stanford PhD student who has received a fellowship administered by the Vice Provost for Graduate Education. May I apply for Knight-Hennessy Scholars?

A: Please refer to the chart below to confirm whether you are eligible to apply to KHS. Awards marked "No" may not be combined with KHS and may not be discontinued in order to apply to KHS.

FellowshipYESNO
ARCS: Achievement Rewards for College ScientistsX 
CCSRE: Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Graduate Fellowships X
DARE: Diversifying Academic, Recruiting Excellence FellowshipX 
EDGE: Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education Doctoral Fellowship ProgramX 
Gerald J. Lieberman FellowshipX 
Humanities & Sciences Diversity FellowshipX 
RAISE: Research, Action, and Impact through Strategic Engagement Doctoral FellowshipX 
SGF: Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science & Engineering X
Shoucheng Zhang Graduate Fellowship X
SIGF: Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate FellowshipX