Luce Scholars Program

Year-long professional fellowship in Asia for the purpose of cultural enrichment.

The University of Chicago is a nominating institution for applicants to the Henry Luce Foundation for the Luce Scholars Program. The Luce Scholars program is aimed at a group of highly qualified young Americans in a variety of professional fields. It is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had no prior experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia or their Asian counterparts. The program provides stipends and internships for young Americans to live and work in Asia each year.  Past Scholars, including University of Chicago applicants, have worked with different Asian governmental and private entities such as Japanese architectural firms, Taiwanese family planning centers, the Cambodian health care system, English-language newspapers and magazines in Hong Kong, and Indonesian forestry projects.

Learn more about the Luce Scholars Program.

It should be borne in mind that the program has been designed as a cultural experience first and foremost.  Each Scholar's placement provides a professional venue and perspective, but the assignments themselves must be viewed simply as a mechanism through which to gain a broader understanding and appreciation of the culture in which one is living.  As a purely professional experience, the year in Asia may not prove as satisfying as a similar assignment at home.

Deadline Information

Campus Application Deadline: Friday, October 9, 2020

Eligibility Requirements

  • To be eligible for the Luce Scholars Program, candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who would not have reached their 30th birthday by June 20th of the year they enter the program.
  • Candidates must only have 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 graduating from high school.
  • Candidates must have earned at least a bachelor’s degree or reasonably expect to receive that degree by July 1st of the year they enter the program.
  • Candidates must be in physical health that will not restrict them from working in a foreign environment. 
  • Candidates need not presently be on campus or formally affiliated with the nominating institution. They may be selected from graduating seniors, graduate or professional students currently at the nominating institution, from recent alumni, or others the nominating institution deems appropriate. 
  • Candidates however may have taken Asian language or Asia-focused courses on a U.S. campus (without majoring in Asian Studies).
  • To be successful, candidates must demonstrate an outstanding capacity for leadership, have a record of high achievement, and have mature and clearly defined career interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments. All fields will be considered.
  • The Luce Scholars Program is experiential rather than academic in nature. Personal qualities such as flexibility, adaptability, creativity, humility, openness to new ideas, and sensitivity to cultural differences are as important as academic achievement.
  • Candidates are not judged on the basis of whether or not they have developed specific plans for their Asian experience. A candidate may have general ideas about the kind of placement preferred, but this is not considered as either a negative or positive factor.
  • Luce Scholars are chosen without regard to sex, race, religion, sexual orientation, ethnic background, marital status, or financial need.
  • All College students must apply for endorsement through the CEAS process. 

Application Process

College students interested in the Luce must submit a campus application through UChicago's CEAS. Students must secure institutional endorsement via the stated process available online here. Candidates may not apply directly to Luce.

Complete details, deadline information and application instructions are provided on CEAS' Luce information page here. For further details and information, students should contact CEAS directly.