The Luce Scholars Program represents a major effort by the Henry Luce Foundation to provide an awareness of Asia among potential leaders in American society. Launched in 1974, The Luce Scholars Program is aimed at a group of highly qualified young Americans in a variety of professional fields.

It is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited prior experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia. The program provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia for 18 Luce Scholars each year. 

Program Update

The Luce Scholars Program did not recruit a cohort for the 2022-23 year but has since resumed the competition. While the Luce Scholars Program will no longer require a nomination or an endorsement from the College, the Fellowships Office is available to guide and advise with the application process. 

View this year's deadlines


  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
  • Graduating seniors, recent graduates and young professionals under the age of 32 or if older, candidates must have received their bachelor’s degree within the past three years;
  • Candidates who have majored in Asian Studies are now eligible to apply (update, Spring 2022); 
  • Candidates with limited exposure to Asia OR Candidates who have spent 18 weeks or more (since beginning college) in one of the countries where Luce Scholars are placed, are eligible to apply to be placed in a country where they do not have significant experience.


The application form is available online at Each applicant must first complete an Eligibility Form online. If eligible, the applicant will be prompted to complete the application with the following: 

  • Luce Scholars Program application — Candidates provide biographical and contact information, respond to short answer questions, and write a personal statement and 400-word-max bio.
  • The personal statement is one of the most important parts of the Luce application used to convey a sense of who you are, and reflect on, among other things, (a) your personal journey; (b) your long-range professional interests, and how they have developed; (c) how you have embodied your own kind of leadership; and (d) how a year in Asia with Luce might be transformative.
  • Request Forms for Two Letters of Recommendation. 
  • A 1-3 Minute Video - Candidates record and upload a 1-3 minute video based on the provided prompt. The video gives program administrators a chance to get to know the candidate beyond the page.
  • Academic transcripts of all college and graduate work.

Review Criteria

  • Successful candidates will have demonstrated significant leadership ability, intercultural competence, and evidence of potential for professional achievement. Reviewers will consider academic accomplishments; however, the Luce Scholars Program is experiential rather than academic in nature. Personal qualities such as resilience, flexibility, adaptability, maturity, humility, creativity, openness to new ideas, and sensitivity to cultural differences are as important as academic performance. 
  • Candidates are not judged on the basis of whether or not they have developed specific plans for their year in Asia. A candidate may have general ideas about the kind of placement preferred, but this is considered neither a negative nor positive factor in selection. 

Learn more at The Luce Scholars Program, by visiting the Office of National Fellowships & Scholarships or by contacting the faculty liaison.