Fellowships & Scholarships
Knight-Hennessy Fellowship for Advanced Study at Stanford
  • Northeastern: 08/15/2024
  • Fellowship: 10/09/2024

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in applying for this fellowship, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire. You may contact the office with any questions.

Award Details

Award Website

Knight-Hennessy Scholars develops a community of future global leaders to address complex challenges through collaboration and innovation. Every year, up to 100 high-achieving students from around the world will receive full funding to pursue any graduate degree at Stanford, including the JD, MA, MBA, MD, MFA, MS, and PhD programs, as well as joint- and dual-degrees. Knight-Hennessy Scholars is the largest fully endowed scholars program in the world.
Each year up to 100 high-achieving students who are independent thinkers, display purposeful leadership, and have a civic orientation will receive full funding to pursue a graduate education at Stanford.
  • Full funding includes tuition, stipend, graduate program and related academic expenses, with additional financial support available.
  • Pursue any graduate degree at Stanford, from PhDs in arts, education, engineering, humanities, or social sciences to professional degrees in business, law, or medicine.
  • Build skills in leadership and communication that will empower you to work across disciplines and to scale creative solutions for complex challenges.
  • Students who earned their first bachelor's degree in January 2018 or later are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars.

Term Length: 3 years
Needs Institutional Endorsement
US Citizenship Not Required

You are eligible to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program if you apply within four years, and enroll within five years, after you earn your first/bachelor’s degree.

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. Even if you have earned a graduate degree already, you remain eligible for consideration as long as you earned your first/bachelor’s degree within four years of applying and five years of enrolling.

This year, first-year graduate students at Stanford are also eligible to apply.

Beyond the eligibility requirements listed above, you are eligible for the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program as long as you meet the requirements of the Stanford graduate program(s) that you wish to pursue. You must complete the entire application process for your department – including any standardized test that your discipline requires (GMAT, GRE, LSAT, MCAT, etc.) and, if needed, an English proficiency test.

While it is expected that Knight-Hennessy Scholars perform well, there is no minimum requirement for your grades or scores.

You must complete Northeastern’s nomination process to be considered for institutional endorsement.

University endorsement is necessary for the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship.

Applicants must also apply separately to to the Stanford graduate degree program you wish to pursue in addition to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program. You cannot be selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar if the department does not admit you (though the department may admit you even if you’re not selected as a Knight-Hennessy Scholar).

You should check each department’s website for a sense of what it seeks in candidates. For Knight-Hennessy Scholars, these areas are of particular interest:

1. Independence of Thought

  • First-step mental sharpness
  • Seeks out knowledge and new experiences
  • Full of original ideas
  • Makes sense of ambiguous situations
  • Can hold a contrarian or dissenting point of view

2. Purposeful Leadership

  • Ambitious, in the best sense of the word
  • Driven to improve self
  • Willing to take risks
  • Self-aware
  • Persists and bounces back from adversity

3. Civic Mindset

  • Personally humble and kind
  • Inclusive
  • Respects differences
  • Concerned for and helpful to others
  • Low ego

The education of Knight-Hennessy Scholars is fully funded for any graduate degree at Stanford. 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 enrollment) 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 endeavors (e.g. conference travel).

Interested students should contact Undergraduate Research and Fellowships for an Applying for the Knight-Hennessy booklet and Request for Reference forms.

To apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholarship, you will need to submit the following documents by the internal deadline. All items should be uploaded to NORTHEASTERN’S INTERNAL FELLOWSHIP APPLICATION PORTAL.

  • A complete application form.  The application becomes available when you register on the Knight-Hennessy site. DO NOT submit your application through the Knight-Hennessy site electronically for the internal deadline. Once your application is complete, but before it has been submitted electronically, please take a moment to pull down a PDF of your application for sharing on the NU site.
  • Short Answers and Essay. They ask for the following:
    • “How will your Knight-Hennessy Scholars experience prepare you to realize your immediate and long-term intentions?” (250 word limit)
    • Please tell us when you: a) engaged with someone with a different perspective, b) acted with courage, and c) fell short of expectations. (250 word limit combined)
    • Please tell us eight improbable facts (things that are unlikely but true) about you. (150 word limit combined)
    • The Essay, Connect the dots. How have the influences in your life shaped you? (500 word limit)
  • A one-page activities list, that details your academic achievements and honors as well as community service, extracurricular leadership, and employment.
  • Up to five letters of recommendation.  2-3 of these must be from those individuals who are serving as your Stanford graduate school references (those people will ideally be qualified to advise selection committees about the applicant’s academic ability and standing, i.e., university faculty). We ask for these in order to understand the graduate piece of your application. The other Knight-Hennessy specific two should be character references, whose letters should answer the following questions:
  • Please explain how you know and interact with the applicant.
  • We seek visionary thinkers who demonstrate independence of thought. Describe how the applicant demonstrates intellectual curiosity and creativity to address challenges.
  • We seek courageous leaders who demonstrate purposeful leadership. Describe how the applicant takes initiative to achieve meaningful results and effect positive change.
  • We seek collaborative community members with a civic mindset. Describe how the applicant acts in service of others to elevate the greater good.
  • Is there anything else — positive or negative — that we should know about the applicant?

Contact the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships for a Request for Reference form to send your recommenders. It is important that applicants DO NOT register recommenders on the official Knight-Hennessy site.  Once you register your referees on the online application, you will not be able to change your recommenders nor will your referees be able to make any changes to their letters for the national deadlines.

  • An official Northeastern University Transcript and any transcripts from other institutions you have attended.  Northeastern transcripts can be ordered through the Office of Registrar or through the myNEU Web Portal. You can direct the transcripts to the Office of Undergraduate Research and Fellowships at 501 Sterns Center or to URF@Northeastern.edu.
  • A copy of the application materials (excluding letters) with which you are applying to the Stanford program you have selected.

All of these materials should be submitted electronically through Northeastern’s Knight-Hennessy portal in time for the internal deadline. Please be sure to include the YOUR NAME and THE FELLOWSHIP YOU ARE APPLYING TO in the subject line of any e-mails.

Candidate applications are reviewed by a campus committee. Northeastern endorsed candidates will then be forwarded to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program, while simultaneously applying to their Stanford Graduate Program. Select candidates will receive interviews, conducted virtually.


Interested? Have Questions?

If you meet the eligibility criteria and are interested in a fellowship or opportunity, please fill out a preliminary questionnaire. Contact the office with any questions: