Internal deadline: October 17, 2014

National deadline: November 3, 2014 receipt date

Eligibility requirements:

  • American citizen
  • Earned at least a bachelor's degree (or expects to receive that degree before taking part in the program.)
  • Be in good health
  • Have not reached 30th birthday by July 1st of the year entering program
  • Have limited or no experience in Asia and Asian studies (may have spent up to 12 weeks in Asia but no longer)

Award summary and conditions: Candidates for the Luce Scholars Program are nominated by 75 colleges and universities in the United States. Fifteen to eighteen scholars are chosen each year. Candidates should have a record of the highest academic achievement, combined with the evidence of outstanding leadership ability. Most important, candidates must have a clearly defined career goal in a specific field and must have given evidence of potential for accomplishment within that field. Applications cannot be considered from those who already have had significant exposure to Asian culture or who have a specific career interest in Asian affairs.

The Luce Scholars Program aims to provide an intensive experience in Asia for those who would not, in the normal course of their careers, have such an exposure. The Luce Scholars Program is experiential rather than academic in nature. Some Scholars have been attached to Asian universities in teaching or research capacities, but none of the participants is formally enrolled as a student in a college or university and no academic credit is extended.

Professional placements are arranged for each Scholar on the basis of his or her individual interest, 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. The placements are intended primarily as learning opportunities for the Scholars. Certainly it is hoped that a Scholar will be able to make a professional contribution to the host organization, but equally important is a willingness to learn some of the many things that Asia has to teach.

Currently, the Luce Scholars Program operates throughout most of East and Southeast Asia: Japan, South Korea, China, Mongolia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, the Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, Singapore, India and Indonesia. At this point, placement is not a practical possibility in Burma or North Korea.

Application process: hard copy submission

Application materials:

  • Luce Scholars Program application which is available online.
  • Official transcript(s)
  • Two recent passport-size color photos
  • Four letters of recommendation-range of academic and professional references if possible
  • Contact information form

Faculty Representative: Keith Raether

Internal nomination required: Yes-Whitman may submit three nominations

National committee interview: Yes

Selection process: The single most important consideration is that a candidate demonstrates potential for leadership and accomplishment. The program looks or evidence that a candidate will be a leader both within his or her profession and as a member of the broader community. Initiative, creativity, maturity, strength of character, self-awareness, a sense of responsibility, sensitivity, a positive personality-all these are characteristics that typify successful candidates.

An interview with each nominee will be held in November and December in person or via telephone. In early January approximately 45 finalists will be selected. Each will meet with one of three independent selection committees in early February. Expenses will be paid by the Luce Scholars Program. From each committee, five or six Luce Scholars will be chosen.

Announcement date: Recipients will be notified by mid-February.

Contact information: