Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Applicants to the Department of Economics should also consider applying to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program.

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Applying to Stanford

Knight-Hennessy Scholars Program

Applicants to the Department of Economics should also consider applying to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program, which annually admits up to 100 select applicants each year from across Stanford’s seven graduate schools, and delivers engaging experiences that prepare them to be visionary, courageous, and collaborative leaders ready to address complex global challenges. As a scholar, you join a distinguished cohort, participate in up to three years of leadership programming, and receive full funding for up to three years of your studies at Stanford.

Candidates of any country may apply. KHS applicants must have earned their first undergraduate degree within the last seven years, and must apply to both a Stanford graduate program and to KHS. Stanford PhD students may also apply to KHS during their first year of PhD enrollment.

·         The application for the 2024 cohort is open and available at

·         The deadline to apply to the Knight-Hennessy Scholars program is Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 1:00pm Pacific Time

The application for admission in academic year 2024-25 is now closed. Please return to this page in September 2024 when the new application cycle opens for the most up to date information on our admission process and requirements.

Stanford’s Office of Graduate Admissions begins accepting graduate program applications in late-September for students wishing to be considered for admission to the Economics Ph.D. program the following September.  The application deadline for the Economics Ph.D. is 29 November 2023 (11:59pm Pacific Time).  

The Department of Economics recognizes that the Supreme Court issued a ruling in June 2023 about the consideration of certain types of demographic information as part of an admission review. All applications submitted during upcoming application cycles will be reviewed in conformance with that decision.

Stanford is committed to fostering intellectual excellence in graduate education by enrolling a diverse student body and creating a vibrant and supportive educational environment. The Department of Economics welcomes graduate applications from individuals with a broad range of life experiences, perspectives, and backgrounds who would contribute to our community of scholars. Review of applications is holistic and individualized, considering each applicant’s academic record and accomplishments, letters of recommendation, and admissions essays in order to understand how an applicant’s life experiences have shaped their past and potential contributions to their field.

As a department, we strive to admit applicants with the potential to excel at economic research and/or the potential to apply economics to benefit society, and who themselves contribute to a rich educational environment for our students.  At least one and usually multiple faculty members serving on our Ph.D. admissions committee gives an individualized and holistic review to every complete application submitted to our Ph.D. program.

Application forms cannot be downloaded, and materials must be submitted online. Applicants must submit the following materials:

1. A statement of purpose (not exceeding two pages in length)

2. Three letters of recommendation

3. Please upload scanned (unofficial) copies of transcripts from every college and university you attended for at least one full year as a full-time student by the application deadline as part of your online application.  Do not send official transcripts at this time and do not send anything by mail, it must all be uploaded to the application online.  Official transcripts should be sent to the central university admissions office (not the Department) at the time you accept an offer of admission. 

4To be eligible for admission to graduate programs at Stanford, applicants must meet one of the following conditions:

  • Applicants must hold, or expect to hold before enrollment at Stanford, a bachelor’s degree from a U.S. college or university accredited by a regional accrediting association.
  • Applicants from institutions outside the U.S. must hold the equivalent of a U.S. bachelor’s degree from a college or university of recognized standing. See minimum level of study required of International applicants.

5. For applicants whose first language is not English (with some exceptions as clarified here), TOEFL scores are required.  Stanford’s ETS institutional code for submission of scores is 4704. 

  • Stanford will temporarily accept the TOEFL ITP Plus test with the Vericant interview for applicants from Mainland China who are unable to sit for the TOEFL iBT. This exception is requested only for the 2020-2021 application cycle. Applicants may be asked to re-test at a later time once the Stanford TOEFL iBT becomes available, or applicants may be asked to re-test through the Stanford Language Center.
  • To meet the needs of students who are unable to take the TOEFL iBT® test at a test center due to public health concerns, ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition.

6. The Economics Department DOES require GRE scores for 2023-24 admission. They will be evaluated with your application in a holistic manner.

7. Stanford’s Economics Department also requires that students complete a coursework spreadsheet as part of the online application.  The reason we require this is that we receive and review transcripts from many schools, and it is extremely helpful for us to review applicants’ economics-related coursework in a standardized format.  Stanford's course catalog will likely be helpful in determining which Stanford courses are most similar to those you have taken.   

No additional materials that become available after the deadline (e.g. updated transcripts) will be accepted. 

If you have any questions throughout this process, please contact econ-grad [at] (econ-grad[at]stanford[dot]edu).

The non-refundable application fee is $125, but please note that fee waivers are available for individuals needing assistance with application fees.

Stanford’s Office of the Vice Provost for Graduate Education provides several resources about life at Stanford. See also this statement of support for undocumented students.