The Luce Scholars Program will not be recruiting a cohort for the 2022–2023 year. We apologize for the inconvenience but expect to launch a revised admissions process and resume the competition next summer in 2022. 

The Luce Scholars Program, a nationally competitive fellowship program, was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974. It offers a year of immersive living and working experience in Asia designed to introduce this diverse region to talented, public interest-minded young Americans. The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals  in a wide range of fields and from a variety of backgrounds who have had limited exposure to Asia.

The program, with its focus on experiential and cohort learning, nurtures qualities such as adaptability, creativity, resilience, a sense of humility and a tendency toward collaboration. In the process it cultivates a unique brand of leadership based on intellectual curiosity, a capacity for learning, a readiness to go out of one’s comfort zone, and a willingness to serve others. The Scholars' personal and professional growth during their Luce year is often transformative, and continues to impact their trajectories as they maintain ties to Asia and contribute to their fields and communities in the United States and elsewhere.

We work with seventy-five colleges and universities to nominate their best candidates. Completed applications necessary for institutional endorsement are due by September or early- to mid-October at most participating schools.

We accept applications from interested candidates not affiliated with a nominating institution. These applications will be reviewed by the Luce Scholars program staff. Strong candidates will advance to the first-round interview and participate in the Luce Scholars competition on an equal footing along with candidates put forward by nominating institutions.

The Luce Scholars Program is open to:

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents. 
  • Graduating seniors, recent graduates and young professionals under the age of 30. 
  • Candidates with limited exposure to Asia, i.e. those who have not majored in Asian studies and who have spent less than an accumulated total of 18 weeks in one or more Luce Scholars placement countries in Asia since beginning college.

Each applicant must first complete an Eligibility Form online. If eligible, the applicant will be prompted to complete the application. For more information on application procedure, please visit:

Successful candidates should have a record of high achievement, outstanding leadership ability, and clearly defined interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments. After two rounds of one-on-one interviews beginning in November, the new class of Luce Scholars is announced in February.

We strive for diversity, equity and inclusion in all aspects of the Luce Scholars Program; they are critical to our mission of developing young leaders and to the future of American Society. Diversity in any given class of Luce Scholars enriches each Scholar’s learning in Asia and enhances the Luce “cohort effect.” In the selection process, we broadly consider candidates’ unique perspectives and experiences, including but not limited to those of marginalization, disadvantage, or hardship, and how they faced or overcame such challenges, which may be rooted or reflected in race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender expression, economic status, disability, and/or religious belief, as well as family background (e.g. first-generation American, or first-generation to college). Luce Scholars are chosen without regard to field of interest, marital status or financial need.

Luce Scholars gain new perspectives and cultural insights on their host countries through immersive living and working experiences in Asia. A professional placement is individually arranged for each Scholar on the basis of his or her professional interest, background, and qualifications.

Placements can be made in the following countries or regions: Cambodia, mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor-Leste and Vietnam.

The “Luce year” begins in June with orientation in New York. Luce Scholars engage in intensive language study in Asia in July and August. Placements begin in September, and conclude with a wrap-up meeting in July of the following year.


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