Luce Scholars

How to apply



The Luce Scholars Program was established in 1974 to provide early-career leaders with immersive, professional experiences in Asia. Each year, the 13-month fellowship is awarded to 18 Luce Scholars who receive stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia. In their individually tailored professional placements, scholars work alongside Asian colleagues, deepening their ties and understanding of the cultures, countries, and people of Asia through sustained, in-person engagement. The Program is primarily committed to engaging young professionals who might not otherwise have the opportunity to build professional networks in Asia. 


Scholars receive a stipend and, depending on placement, a cost-of-living and housing allowance for the duration of the program.


  • Candidates must be US citizens or permanent residents.
  • Candidates may be graduating seniors, recent graduates, or young professionals under the age of 32, or if older than 32, candidates must have received their bachelor’s degree within the past three years.

Selection Criteria

The Luce Scholars Program seeks applicants who demonstrate the following traits and interests:

  • Exploratory curiosity  
  • Interest and embrace of diverse perspectives, beliefs, and modes of living 
  • Adaptability 
  • Open-mindedness 
  • Resilience  
  • Humility 
  • Commitment to serving and supporting others 

How to Apply

  1. Learn about the award: visit the program’s website; check your eligibility and read about alumni from the program. 
  2. Book an appointment to meet with Office of Fellowships staff to shape your strategy for this application and your broader plans. 
  3. Draft your application essays and book a draft review appointment with the Office of Fellowships by the end of August. In addition to the essays, the application includes transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a 1-3 minute video.
  4. Revise your application materials on your own and submit before the national deadline in October.
  5. Semifinalists selected as semi-finalists are invited for a virtual interview with a Luce Scholar in November.
  6. Finalists are invited to a finalist weekend consisting of interactive programs, workshops, and finalist interviews. Scholars are announced immediately after finalist weekend.