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, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Placement in North Korea and Myanmar (formerly Burma) are 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, 2022)
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Be under 30 years of age by start of program (July 1, 2022)
  • 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 2022 opens in Spring 2021 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
  • 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 7, 2021.

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 22, 2021. Endorsed applications must be received by the Luce Foundation by November 1, 2021.


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

Application Timeline

Spring 2021Campus Announcement for Open Applications
Feb 23, 2021Luce/Rhodes/Marshall Info Session, 3:00 & 4:00pm via Zoom (email for meeting link)
Feb 24, 2021Luce/Rhodes/Marshall Info Session, 2:30 & 3:30pm via Zoom (email for meeting link)
Fall 2021Luce Scholars Program Application Available Online
early Sep, 2021Deadline for Internal Campus Application
mid Sep 2021Campus Interviews for Select Candidates
late Sep 2021All Applicants Notified of Status
late Oct, 2021Deadline for Final Application for Endorsed Candidates
Nov 1, 2021Deadline to Submit Applications to Luce Foundation
Nov/Dec 2021First Round Interviews via Skype for Endorsed Applicants
Jan 2022Mock Interview for Finalists
Feb/Mar 2022Luce Finalist Interviews and Selection
Jun/Jul 2022Luce Scholars Begin Program