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Are you a potential Knight-Hennessy Scholar at Stanford University? Below is a general listing of the eligibility factors.

All Citizens Welcome

We encourage applications to Knight-Hennessy Scholars from citizens of all countries. That’s natural since we expect Knight-Hennessy Scholars to have global impact.

We expect that over time about one-third of our scholars will be from the U.S., and about two thirds will be from countries outside the U.S. Those numbers will fluctuate from year to year, since our goal is to admit the world’s very best students, regardless of location.

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.)

All Graduate Programs at Stanford; Only for Graduate Degrees

You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you are applying to enroll in any full-time graduate degree program(s) at Stanford (for example, but not limited to, DMA, Eng, JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MS, or PhD) or if you plan on pursuing one of Stanford’s many joint- and dual- graduate degree options (for example, but not limited to, MD+PhD, JD+MA, MBA+MS).*

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program funds up to the first three years of your Stanford graduate education, and if your degree program exceeds three years  such as an MD or PhD program, or a Stanford dual- or joint-degree program  then your Stanford home department will fund the remainder of your education to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program. (For example, some programs typically fund six years for PhDs, while others fund five years for PhDs.)

While we are excited to build a cohort that reflects the breadth of excellence at Stanford, there are no allocations or quotas by discipline or program. Please note, however, that we will give priority to applicants who will spend at least two years at Stanford: we do not believe one year is sufficient to form the community we envision and benefit from the leadership platform we are developing.

First/Bachelor's Degree Received in 2014 or Later; Enrolling at Stanford in 2021 or Later

For the cohort enrolling in Autumn 2021 (i.e., applying in Autumn 2020), you are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you applied during your final year of study for your first/bachelor's degree or within six years of earning your first/bachelor’s degree. That means you must have graduated in January 2014 through September 2021 to enroll at Stanford in September 2021. U.S. military (active or veteran) applicants receive a two-year extension of eligibility due to service commitments: you are eligible if you earned your undergraduate (bachelor's or first) degree in 2012 or later.

If you’re still in college studying for your first/bachelor’s degree, you’re eligible to apply as long as you complete your first/bachelor’s degree before you enroll as a graduate student at Stanford. If you have earned a graduate degree, you remain eligible to enroll in 2021 as long as you earned your first/bachelor's degree in 2014 or later. 

If you graduated with your first/bachelor's degree more than six years before applying (in 2013 or earlier, for the Autumn 2021 intake), then you are not eligible for consideration as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. This applies even if you have earned an additional degree in 2014 or later. The good news is that you still may apply to the Stanford graduate program of your choice, and there are many other options for funding your graduate education at Stanford.


          Earned first degree in                           Apply no later than                     Enroll no later than

            2014                                                                Fall 2020                                             Fall 2021

            2015                                                                Fall 2021                                             Fall 2022

            2016                                                                Fall 2022                                             Fall 2023

            2017                                                                Fall 2023                                             Fall 2024

            2018                                                                Fall 2024                                             Fall 2025

            2019                                                                Fall 2025                                             Fall 2026

            2020                                                                Fall 2026                                             Fall 2027


Other Eligibility Requirements

Beyond the eligibility requirements listed above, you are eligible for Knight-Hennessy Scholars as long as you meet the requirements of the Stanford graduate program(s) that you wish to pursue. In most cases, you are eligible to apply to a graduate degree program even if you did not study that precise field as an undergraduate; please contact each graduate degree program for specific information about its requirements.

You must complete not only your Knight-Hennessy Scholars application, but also the entire application process for your graduate degree program  including any standardized test that your graduate degree program requires (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.) and, if needed, an English proficiency test (TOEFL; or, for MBA program only, IELTS or PTE).

Although we expect Knight-Hennessy Scholars to have performed well, there is no minimum requirement for your grades or scores. 

A Special Note for Graduate Students Enrolling at Stanford Before 2021

Are you enrolled or planning to enroll as a graduate student at Stanford?

If you enroll in a graduate degree program at Stanford in 2020 or earlier, you are ineligible for consideration as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar for your current degree program. You are, however, welcome to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you either defer enrollment to 2021 or later, or if you apply for a new graduate degree program at Stanford that starts in 2021 or later.

Deferring Enrollment? Apply the Year Before You Enroll

Deferral of enrollment to a graduate program is the purview of that department. Most Stanford programs do not offer deferrals, though some - especially in the professional schools of business, law, and medicine - allow deferrals. Regardless of the graduate program's policy, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program does not defer scholar offers. If you are selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar and are unable to enroll, you would need to reapply (assuming you still remain eligible). We consider exceptions to this policy only under rare and unforeseen circumstances (e.g., delayed separation from the military, health issues).
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 2023, then you could apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program in 2022 to enroll as a Scholar in 2023  thus aligning your initial enrollment in the MBA Program and as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar. 



Last updated November 17, 2019

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