There’s neither a typical Stanford student nor one ideal Knight-Hennessy Scholar. As Phil Knight would say, we’re seeking Scholars who can out-think, out-work, and out-care others.
What We're Seeking in a Scholar
If you remember only one thing from this admission section, please remember this: to be selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, you must apply separately to the Stanford graduate degree program you wish to pursue in addition to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. We can't select you as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar if the department doesn't admit you (though the department may admit you even if you're not selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar).
You should check each department's website for a sense of what it seeks in candidates. For Knight-Hennessy Scholars, we look primarily at three areas:
1. Independence of Thought
- First-step mental sharpness
- Seeks out knowledge and new experiences
- Full of original ideas
- Makes sense of ambiguous situations
- Can hold a contrarian or dissenting point of view
2. Purposeful Leadership
- Ambitious, in the best sense of the word
- Driven to improve self
- Willing to take risks
- Persists and bounces back from adversity
3. Civic Mindset
- Personally humble and kind
- Respects differences
- Concerned for and helpful to others
- Low ego
Where we find evidence of these criteria is throughout your application materials and, if you are selected as a finalist, at Immersion Weekend. We look forward to getting to know you, what you have done, your influences, ideals, hopes, and dreams.
Last modified September 27, 2017