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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. 

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.  

There are no quotas by discipline or program. Note that we will give priority consideration to those who will spend at least two years studying at Stanford.

Please note that a small number of Stanford graduate degree programs are not eligible for Knight-Hennessy Scholars:

Requirement 2: Undergraduate Degree Date 

Second, you must have earned, in January 2016 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:
2023 January 2016 or later
2024 January 2017 or later

For applicants who served in the military after their undergraduate studies, we extend the eligibility window by two years in acknowledgement of longer service commitments; you must have earned your degree in January 2014 or later to enroll in 2023. Current college students are eligible if you will earn your first degree by September 2023. 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 2015 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 2015 or earlier, for the autumn 2023 intake), then you are not eligible for consideration as a Knight-Hennessy scholar. This applies even if you have earned an additional degree in 2016 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.

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

A: Undocumented students are eligible to apply for Knight-Hennessy Scholars, but must meet eligibility for the graduate program, including any work requirements. For more information, please visit undocumented.stanford.edu.

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 2023 as long as you earned your first/bachelor's degree in 2016 or later.

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 2022, you may apply in 2022 such that you will start KHS in 2023 (your second year of PhD enrollment). Otherwise, if you enrolled in a graduate degree program at Stanford in 2022 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 2023, or if you apply for a new graduate degree program at Stanford that starts in 2023.

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 2024, then you may apply to Knight-Hennessy Scholars in 2023 to enroll as a Scholar in 2024 — 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 2023 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.

Fellowship YES NO
ARCS: Achievement Rewards for College Scientists X  
CCSRE: Center for Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity Graduate Fellowships   X
DARE: Diversifying Academic, Recruiting Excellence Fellowship X  
EDGE: Enhancing Diversity in Graduate Education Doctoral Fellowship Program X  
Gerald J. Lieberman Fellowship X  
Humanities & Sciences Diversity Fellowship X  
RAISE: Research, Action, and Impact through Strategic Engagement Doctoral Fellowship X  
SGF: Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science & Engineering   X
Shoucheng Zhang Graduate Fellowship   X
SIGF: Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship X  

 Last updated September 12, 2022.