Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program is a fully-funded program for international students pursuing Masters’ or PhD degrees. The scholarship covers all tuition fees, travel expenses, living allowances, and educational expenses for scholars pursuing higher education. It is among the world’s most prestigious scholarship programs, designed to draw the most talented future leaders from around the world and across various fields to Stanford University. If you are keen on pursuing your studies at a leading university in the USA with a fully-funded scholarship, then this opportunity is tailor-made for you. This write-up aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program for graduate students, its perks, and the application process, presented step-by-step.

Requirements for Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

If you have yet to defer your admission to a full-time Stanford graduate degree program previously or you are a first-year Stanford PhD student who intends to apply for KHS in the second year, then you need to fill out two different applications.

  • two online application forms, 
  • A free online application for Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program and
  • Paid online application for your preferred Stanford University graduate program you are applying to
  • Resume, 
  • A 1-page resume that showcases the most significant aspects of your academic record, academic excellence, interests and experiences in reverse-chronological order. 
  • transcripts and test scores, 
  • scanned copies of your academic transcripts from your undergraduate level (and graduate level, if applicable) for any institution attended for at least one academic year. Ensure that your transcript includes the degree conferred and the date of conferral if applicable. 
  • If your graduate degree program requires test scores, submit them to Knight- Hennessy Scholars by the later of the two deadlines: your graduate degree program’s application or the Knight-Hennessy Scholars application deadline.
  • 2 recommendation letters,  
  • short answers to 3 questions
  • essay

Eligibility Criteria for Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

To be eligible for this scholarship opportunity;

  • applicants can be from any country.
  • There is no limitation on age, academic background or area of study.
  • no endorsements from any educational institutions or other organizations are required.
  • applicants are required to apply, get admitted, and register in a full-time graduate program at Stanford University, apart from the KHS application process.
  • applicants must hold a U.S. bachelor’s degree or its equivalent from an accredited college or a university of reputable standing, obtained in January 2017 or later for enrolling in 2024.
  • applicants who are due to receive their initial degree by September 2024, are qualified to apply, even if they are presently enrolled in college.

A two-year extension to the eligibility period is offered for candidates who have served in the military following their undergraduate studies.

Selection Criteria for Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program for students with diverse backgrounds has no single typical scholar. Each candidate has different strengths demonstrated in different ways.

Scholars are examined and considered based on evidence that meets three criteria: 

  • Independence of Thought (Demonstrates Innovative and entrepreneurial skills)
  • Purposeful Leadership (Strives for personal and collective growth and development)
  • Civic Mindset(Exhibits qualities of humility, kindness, integrity, and accountability)

The Application Process for Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Follow these steps to ensure a smooth application process:

  • Step 1: Start early by creating your two online applications. It can be filled in increments and progress can be saved as needed.
  • Step 2: Enter your recommenders’ information in both applications as soon as possible to give them sufficient time to submit their letters. A personalized link will be sent to each of your recommenders by the application system for them to submit their recommendation online. If all the details of your application are filled in but for the recommendation letter you can still submit your form.
  • Step 3: Complete the applications. Plan accordingly for materials that may require additional time.
  • Step 4: Submit your online applications by their respective deadlines. Please note that once you submit your KHS application, you will not be able to modify it, except for your intended Stanford graduate degree program, test scores, and recommenders.
  • Step 5: If your intended Stanford graduate program requires test scores, and you receive new scores after submitting your KHS application, update your Knight-Hennessy Scholars application through your application status page.

After successful application submission, about 500 of the applicants are invited to submit a video statement,” which provides them with the opportunity to introduce themselves and showcase their personalities beyond their application materials. Invitations will include detailed instructions and a specific deadline, with videos typically due 6–10 days after receiving the invitation. From this initial group of up to 500 applicants, around 150 finalists will be chosen to attend the immersion weekend. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS) program will cover the expenses for up to 170 candidates to attend Immersion Weekend at Stanford University. This includes reasonable travel costs such as lodging at Stanford, airfare, and on-campus meals.

Benefits of the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Once admitted and selected, scholars will receive a funding grant for up to three years. This grant will include a stipend to cover tuition and associated fees, as well as a living stipend to cover room and board, books, academic supplies, instructional materials, local transportation costs, and reasonable personal expenses. Additionally, scholars will receive an economy class round-trip ticket annually to and from Stanford, as well as a one-time relocation stipend. A supplementary grant will also be provided to enrich educational insight through conferences and travel. If scholars choose to pursue summer research projects for additional learning, they will be eligible for a special summer grant.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholarship program also offers the King Global Leadership Program which provides scholars with an extensive range of workshops, lectures, projects, and experiences. These offerings serve as a supplement to scholars’ graduate school education and support them in cultivating the qualities and actions necessary to achieve leadership development.


The Knight-Hennessy Scholars (KHS) application process is not a mere checklist of requirements, as there is no set formula for admission. Qualifications such as scores, achievements, or narratives do not guarantee acceptance. But with the proper guidance, you can be a part of this global community

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Frequently Asked Questions

What if my transcript is not in English?

Official translations in English must be provided for transcripts and degree documents that are not in the English language.

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

Knight-Hennessy Scholars welcome applicants who choose to defer their enrollment to 2024 or apply for a new graduate degree program starting in 2024.

May I update my test score after I have submitted my application?

Certainly, you can achieve this by completing and submitting the Test Score Update form on your application status page once you have submitted your application.

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