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Knight-Hennessy Scholarship at Stanford University

Through the generosity of alumnus Phil Knight, MBA ’62, philanthropist, American businessman and co-founder of Nike Inc., and numerous benefactors, the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship Program offers a transformative experience comprised of opportunities for leadership development, mentorship, and immersive interdisciplinary experiential learning.

The program is named for Mr. Knight and former Stanford president John Hennessy, who served as Stanford University’s 10th president from 2000 to 2016.

President emeritus Hennessy, who is the academic architect and visionary behind the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, serves as the program’s inaugural Shriram Family Director.

Invariably, knight-Hennessy Scholars will think beyond silos to effect positive change and solve complex problems. Over the years, as the number of Knight-Hennessy Scholars increases and each class mature professionally, the contributions of the collective group will expand and positively impact an even greater number of people around the world.

In 50 years, there will be 5,000 Knight-Hennessy Scholars at various stages of your careers developing creative solutions to effect positive change, as leaders in governments, the arts, NGOs, businesses, and elsewhere.

The Knight-Hennessy Scholars span all 7 schools at Stanford. Knight-Hennessy Scholars are talented individuals, and they are made up of a multidisciplinary community of scholars. The program offers a platform for purposeful leadership development and empowers you to effect large-scale positive impact in the world.


The Knight-Hennessy Scholars is at the Stanford University, USA.

Fields of Study/Levels of Study

This is open for all Masters and Ph.D. degrees. Stanford University will also offer all the courses, hence, applicants can visit the official website for more information. However, there are degrees that the scholarships do not apply to. Degrees like DMA, JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MPP, MS, or Ph.D.

Target group

Applicants from all countries – there are no restrictions based on citizenship, age, the field of study, career aspiration, etc.

Scholarship value/inclusions

Firstly, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars receive funding for graduate study at Stanford University. As such, the education of Knight-Hennessy Scholars is for up to 3 years for any graduate degree(s) at Stanford. If your degree program exceeds 3 years – such as an MD or Ph.D. 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, your program may fund you for 1 additional year for some PhDs and 3 additional years for others).

Eligibility Criteria

Firstly, the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is designed to be open to a broad set of qualified applicants. As such, there are no restrictions based on citizenship, age, the field of study, career aspiration, etc. Applicants from all countries are eligible, and you may apply to any academic discipline in any of Stanford’s Graduate Schools. You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you are applying to enroll in a full-time graduate program(s) at Stanford (for example, but not limited to, DMA, JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MPP, MS, or Ph.D.) or if you plan on pursuing 1 of Stanford’s many joints- and dual- graduate degree options (for example, but not limited to, MD+PhD, JD+MA, MBA+MS).

In addition, the university does not believe 1 year is sufficient to form the desired community and for scholars to benefit from the leadership platform. As a result, priority is given to applicants who will spend at least 2 years at Stanford.

Application Instruction/Deadlines

Applications are currently unavailable.

To be a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, you have to submit 2 applications:

  • Stanford graduate program application (application deadlines for Stanford Graduate programs can close as early as August 2020, with other deadlines falling between September and December 2020, so check the individual program websites for application deadlines for the course.)
  • Knight-Hennessy Scholars online application

Therefore, in order to be a Knight-Hennessy Scholar, you have to be in the graduate program. The Knight-Hennessy Scholars application is now open for Autumn 2021 enrollment and is due 14 October 2020.

It is important to visit the official website (link found below) for more information on how to apply for this scholarship.


Official Scholarship Website: Apply here