Knight-Hennessy Scholars

UCI (Big 10 Pre-Application) Advising Deadline:

April 8, 2019 at 12:00 noon Pacific Time (U.S. & all other countries of citizenship) for Fall 2020 admissions

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between late February – early April annually to begin the optional advising process.

Consult our Sample Pre-Application

For Reference Only: 2019 Application Process Overview


The Knight-Hennessy Scholars program fully funds graduate education in any major at Stanford University. The program aims to make a substantial impact on global social issues by bringing together future leaders in government, business, and nonprofit careers to enact change through collaboration. While completing their graduate degrees, Knight-Hennessy Scholars will participate in the King Global Leadership Program and have access to co-curricular activities. They will also reside at Denning House on the Stanford campus.

Who is Eligible

Applicants from every country of the world are eligible to apply within four years of graduation from their undergraduate institution. You must apply separately and be admitted to your graduate program at Stanford through the standard selection process prior to receiving a Knight-Hennessy scholarship.

Begin the process during the spring before your final year on campus by submitting a Pre-Application. See SELECTION PROCEDURE section of page for more information. (Knight-Hennessy candidates must have earned a bachelor’s degree before the fall term begins at Stanford. However, you do NOT need to have earned a bachelor’s degree by the time you apply.) Current seniors or recent UCI alumni may also apply.

Please note that external scholarship agencies will consider all of your credit-bearing coursework from any college or institution as part of the review process (including CSU, community colleges, private colleges or other UC campuses/Extension programs, and including units earned while in high school). Grades from other colleges will be included in calculation of your overall GPA for eligibility purposes.

The scholarship does not stipulate a minimum GPA. However, to be competitive, applicants should have at least a 3.7 GPA and must be able to demonstrate professional competence and dedication to the field of study through leadership or mentoring roles in academic or service organizations, publications or performances, and/or significant work experience/internships related to the major.

Approximately 50 Knight-Hennessy Scholars will be funded in the first year, and up to 100 in future years, with about one-third of the awards going to students from the United States.

UCI graduate students: contact the Graduate Resource Center for advising.

Selection Procedure
The first step in applying is to complete a Pre-Application, accessible each year throughout March. In April, SOP staff review Pre-Applications and meet with students to discuss their candidacy and subsequent steps. For detailed information about each stage of the application process, please view the Application Process Overview.

After completing the Pre-App and meeting with SOP staff to discuss your candidacy, you will work on multiple drafts of the formal application. Your supporting documents, including one non-academic letter of recommendation, will be due this summer. You will also be required to participate in an endorsement interview in August where the campus committee will determine whether to nominate you.

The electronic application includes an application form, test scores, 1 letter of recommendation, a curriculum vitae, two essays,  and a brief video introduction. You will also need to apply separately to your department at Stanford University.

Shortlisted applicants are invited to interview and participate in group activities at “Immersion Weekend,” held in early Winter (probably January).

Who Wins
Selection criteria include “academic accomplishments, leadership potential, personal commitment and potential for positive global change.”

As this is Knight-Hennessy Scholars’ inaugural year, UCI does not yet have any winners.

Knight-Hennessy scholarships include three years of graduate funding, optional research or social entrepreneurship funding, and a stipend for on-campus housing, health insurance, books and supplies, travel to/from Stanford, and other basic living expenses.


Philip H. Knight, MBA ’62, provided the founding gift to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program. He was excited by the opportunity to partner with Stanford to launch a transformative program and wished to honor John Hennessy’s 16-year tenure as president of Stanford University. Co-founder and Chairman emeritus of Nike, Inc., Knight wrote his business plan for Nike while a graduate student at Stanford. He has since been actively engaged at the university and a generous contributor to its programs.”

Knight-Hennessy is a fantastic opportunity for students whose ambitious career goals are a good fit with Stanford’s graduate majors and who seek to actively collaborate with an interdisciplinary, international cohort of scholars to work on major global problems.

World Wide Web
Further information and applications are available at the Knight-Hennessy website.

Access the Big 10 Pre-Application between late February – early April annually to begin the application process.

SOP is able to advise competitive undergraduate candidates at UC Irvine only.