Luce Scholars Program

The Luce Scholarship, a key initiative of the Henry Luce Foundation, aims to develop an awareness of Asia among potential leaders in American society. The Scholarship 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 Scholarship provides stipends, language training and individualized professional placement in Asia for fifteen to eighteen young Americans each year. Internships are arranged for each Scholar on the basis of his or her specific professional interests, background, qualifications, and experience. Each Scholar spends July and August studying the language of the placement country, and the work assignments run for approximately ten months from September until July of the following year. Luce Scholars come from a variety of disciplines, including medicine and public health, the arts, law, science, environmental studies, international development, and journalism. Placements can be made in the following countries or regions in East and Southeast Asia: Brunei, Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.


  • Nominees must be US citizens.
  • Nominees must complete a bachelor's degree by July 1 of the year they enter the program.
  • Nominees must not have reached their 30th birthday by July 1 of the year they enter the program.
  • Nominees must be in good physical and emotional health.
  • Nominees will not be considered if they have already had a significant exposure to Asia, or if they have a professed career interest in Asian affairs.


Applications are submitted in hard copy to the Office of Distinguished Fellowships. A maximum of three applications will be chosen and forwarded to the Luce Foundation. The application includes:

  • Program application form
  • Personal statement
  • Four letters of recommendation
  • Official transcripts
  • Two recent passport-size photographs

Successful candidates must demonstrate potential for leadership and accomplishment. The Luce Foundation looks for evidence that a candidate will be a leader both within his or her profession and as a member of the broader community. High academic achievement is also a significant criterion for selection.


The Office of Distinguished Fellowships will review all applications and nominate up to three candidates for consideration by the Luce Foundation. Applications are due to the Luce Foundation on November 1, 2018. The Luce Foundation will interview each nominee in December or January. In early January, forty-five finalists will be selected to meet with Regional Selection Committees. Successful nominees are notified in mid-February.


Arthur D. Casciato, Ph.D.
Director, Office of Distinguished Fellowships
Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey