Luce Scholars Program – Text-Only


Click here for the infographic overview of the Luce Scholars Program.

The Luce Scholars Program was launched in 1974 by the Henry Luce Foundation to enhance understanding of Asia among potential leaders in the United States. Each year, 15-18 students in the United States are chosen to embark on a 13-month experiential internship that is tailored to each Scholar’s goals and interests. Countries of past internship placement include: Cambodia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar (formerly Burma), Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Placement in North Korea is currently unavailable.



Prospective Luce Scholars are chosen based on four standards:

  1. capacity for leadership
  2. record of high achievement
  3. clearly defined interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments
  4. limited exposure to Asia



Prospective scholars must meet these requirements to apply:

  • Have obtained bachelor’s degree by July of entering year (July 1, 2019)
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be under 30 years of age by start of program (July 1, 2019)
  • Have limited exposure to Asia – applicants must not be Asian Studies majors, nor have spent more than 12 weeks in Asia from high school on
  • Be in good physical health and able to work in a foreign environment

Application Process


The application cycle for Luce Scholars beginning their experiential internship in July 2019 opens in Spring 2018 to ensure that students have sufficient support from the Scholarships & Fellowships Office and adequate time to put together a thorough application.

In Spring, the Scholarship & Fellowships Office opens its internal campus application for the Luce Scholars Program and hosts information sessions to share details about the fellowship opportunity.

Prospective applicants should use the end of spring semester through the beginning of the fall semester to gather and complete their application materials. It is highly recommended that applicants revisit and revise them frequently, ensuring that their final application is a reflection of their best efforts.

After the internal campus deadline has passed, the Scholarship & Fellowships Office forwards completed applications to a faculty selection committee for review and consideration. Select candidates are then invited to an interview with the committee, after which the committee recommends particular students to receive a formal University nomination. Students who are chosen for University endorsement will continue to work with the Scholarship and Fellowships Office to gather and finalize the application materials due for the national deadline.

Endorsed candidates shall remain in communication with the Scholarship & Fellowships Office and provide application status updates. The Scholarships & Fellowships Office is committed to providing assistance and support throughout each student’s fellowship journey.

Click here for a detailed application timeline.

Application Requirements


Applications for the Luce Scholars Program will require University endorsement. This means that students will not be allowed to submit their application directly to the agency that handles the Luce Scholars Program, but rather via the University with a formal nomination on their behalf. It is imperative that candidates work closely with the Fellowship Advisor to ensure that all application deadlines and requirements are met. Contact information may be found here.

For tips on putting together the various components of the application, please visit the Application Resources page.


The internal campus application consists of:

  • Campus Application Cover Sheet
  • Nomination Permission Form and Waiver
  • Luce Scholars Program Application
    • Résumé/CV/List of Activities
      List institutions attended, activities, work experience, and awards/recognition. Extracurricular activities should reflect a commitment to serve others, leadership and initiative, and how well-rounded a candidate is overall.
    • Personal Statement
      Essay focusing on the candidate; his/her long-term career interests and aspirations and how they have developed; student’s understanding of leadership; and reasons for applying to the Luce Scholars Program, including what the student hopes to gain from the experience in Asia.
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
    Letters should be addressed to the Luce Scholars Program Selection Committee, signed on letterhead, and represent a range of academic and professional references.
  • Transcripts
    Students may submit a STAR report for all coursework taken within the UH system; official transcripts must be submitted for outside institutions.
  • Campus Interview
    Select candidates will be invited for an interview with the faculty review committee; candidates will be informed if advancing to the interview stage via email.

The UH Mānoa campus deadline to apply is 4:00pm HST on September 10, 2018.


If selected for University endorsement, the following will need to be submitted:

  • Revised Luce Scholars Program Application
    • Revised Résumé/CV/List of Activities
    • Revised Personal Statement
  • 4 Letters of Recommendation (2 letters in addition to the ones already submitted)
  • Official Transcripts
    An official transcript must be submitted for all UH coursework.
  • University Endorsement
  • 2 Passport Photos
    Please write first and last name on the back of each one.

Nominated candidates must submit their final application to the UH Mānoa Scholarships & Fellowships Office by 4:00pm HST on October 18, 2018. Endorsed applications must be received by the Luce Foundation by November 1, 2018.



The Application Resources page houses general application documents applicable to all fellowships as well as the following supplemental materials for this specific fellowship:

Luce Scholars Program Application Checklist
Luce Scholars Program Cover Sheet – Campus Application

Application Timeline


Spring 2018Luce Scholars Program Application Available
Spring 2018Campus Announcement for Open Applications
Feb 13, 2018Luce/Schwarzman Info Session, 2:30-3:30pm in QLC 208
Feb 14, 2018Luce/Schwarzman Info Session, 4:00-5:00pm in QLC 208
Sep 10, 2018Deadline for Internal Campus Application
late Sep 2018Campus Interviews for Select Candidates
late Sep 2018All Applicants Notified of Status
Oct 18, 2018Deadline for Final Application for Endorsed Candidates
Nov 1, 2018Deadline to Submit Applications to Luce Foundation
Nov/Dec 2018First Round Interviews via Skype for Endorsed Applicants
Jan 2019Mock Interview for Finalists
Jan/Feb 2019Luce Finalist Interviews and Scholars Selected
Jun/Jul 2019Luce Scholars Begin Program