Luce Scholarship



The Luce Scholars Program is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia.  The Luce Scholars Program is experiential rather than academic in nature.  Placement countries currently include Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.

One-year career-based internship includes stipend, cost of living and housing allowances (augmented when necessary), language training, and individualized professional placement.

Fifteen to eighteen


Up to three - endorsement is at the discretion of MHC


All fields


  • Those who already have significant experience in Asia or Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program, however, candidates may have taken Asian language or Asia-focused courses (without majoring in Asian Studies). They are allowed to have spent up to a total of twelve weeks in countries where Luce Scholars are placed.
  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens who, by July 1 of the year they enter the program, will have received at least a bachelor’s degree and will not have reached their 30th birthday.
  • Candidates must be in physical health that will not restrict them from working in a foreign environment.

Nominees should demonstrate an outstanding capacity for leadership and have a record of high achievement.  They should have mature and clearly defined career interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments.  Personal qualities such as flexibility, adaptability, creativity, humility, openness to new ideas, and sensitivity to cultural differences are as important as academic achievement.

Intent to apply – April 15th

Internal deadline – October 11th




  • Carefully and thoroughly review the Luce Scholars website including how to apply, selection, and placement.
  • Contact the National Fellowships Advisor in April to express your interest in applying and to discuss your plans.
  • Begin completing the application available on the website in Spring
  • Follow instructions as outlined in the “Benchmark Deadlines” (see below) for submission of your application and letters of recommendation.


  • Online application form, consisting of a Personal Statement and Contact Information Form
  • Four letters of recommendation representing a range of academic and professional references.
  • Official academic transcripts from all college and graduate work
  • Two photos (passport-size color photos; print name on back of both photos)

Ryan Lewis, National Fellowships Advisor (

 Website:         Luce



Task(s) to Complete


Make appointment to discuss candidacy with National Fellowships Advisor

April 15th

Confirm with National Fellowships Advisor of your intention to apply


Solicit potential recommenders; order transcripts for all undergraduate and graduate study and have sent directly to National Fellowships Advisor

Early Sept

Send personal statement draft and entire application to National Fellowships Advisor if feedback is desired before submission to Committee

Oct 11th

Candidates submit hard copies, one-sided, or pdf of all application materials to National Fellowships Advisor

Oct 16-20th 

Endorsement decisions are made; National Fellowships Advisor notifies applicants; endorsed candidates finalize applications

Oct 27th   

Nominees submit revised materials to National Fellowships Advisor in print,    one-sided, signed, or as pdf signed; submit two photos; recommenders send letters to National Fellowships Advisor in hard copy on letterhead (or scanned via email);MUST be signed

By Nov 1st

National Fellowships Advisor sends hard copies of all application materials via USPS, with endorsement, to Luce


Luce interviews each nominee via Skype, phone, or in person; this is part of the application process and does not signify finalist status

Early Jan

45 finalists selected from nominee pool and invited to meet with one of three selection committees in February (Luce Foundation pays travel expenses)


All fifteen to eighteen Luce Scholarship will have been named.  All candidates will receive timely notification

Late June

Luce year begins with orientations in New York and San Francisco