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  • Writer's pictureTKI



On February 22, 2016, Stanford University announced that Nike co-founder and Stanford Graduate School of Business alumnus Phil Knight had pledged $400 million to Stanford to establish the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. Knight-Hennessy Scholars is an international graduate-level scholarship program for study at Stanford University. Established in 2016, the program prepares students to take leadership roles in finding creative solutions to complex global issues. Scholars receive full funding to pursue any graduate degree at Stanford and have additional opportunities for leadership training, mentorship, and experiential learning across multiple disciplines.


The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program funds up to the first three years of your 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(s) will fund the remainder of your education to the extent consistent with its standard funding commitment for that program. (That means, for example, five years for some PhDs and six years for others.)

During each of the first three years of graduate study, Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive:

  • a fellowship applied directly to cover tuition (commensurate with standard departmental level of enrolment) and associated fees, and

  • a stipend for living and academic expenses (such as room and board, books, academic supplies, instructional materials, local transportation, and reasonable personal expenses), and

  • a travel stipend intended to cover an economy-class ticket for one annual trip to and from Stanford.

  • NOTE: Knight-Hennessy Scholars also may apply for supplemental funds to support academic endeavours (e.g. conference travel).

If you engage in optional research projects during the summer, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program can provide summer funding. In addition, Knight-Hennessy Scholars pursuing positive impact through social entrepreneurship may be eligible to apply for seed funding.


You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you are applying to enroll in any full-time graduate degree program 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).

If you graduated with your first/bachelor's degree more than five years ago (in 2013 or earlier), then you are not eligible for consideration as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar.

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.

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).

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


  1. Please note that you must apply separately to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program and to your Stanford graduate degree program.

  2. You must complete and submit the online application for admission (including personal and academic information, etc.). We ask for contact information; basic biographic and demographic details; explanations of your activities, experiences, and interests; and other information to provide context about you.

  3. Prepare a one-page resumé that includes highlights of your experiences, interests, and academic record in reverse-chronological order.

  4. Scan and upload transcripts of your academic performance at the undergraduate level and beyond, for each institution you attended for an academic year or longer

  5. You must be fluent in English — listening, reading, speaking, and writing — to study at Stanford.

  6. Ask two individuals who know you well, whose opinions you trust, and who want to see you succeed to write your reference letters. These recommenders must be able to provide specific examples, anecdotes, and evidence

  7. Respond to 3 short answer questions, and two, 1000 word essays

  8. Submit a 30 second video to introduce yourself


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