About the Scholarship
The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program. It was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. Luce Scholars have backgrounds in virtually every field other than Asian studies. The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Scholars each year. 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, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam.
- be U.S. citizens or permanent residents
- be graduating seniors, recent graduates, or young professionals under the age of 32, OR if older than 32, candidates must have received their bachelor’s degree within the past three years.
- Candidates who have majored in Asian Studies are now eligible to apply.
- Candidates who have spent 18 weeks or more (since beginning college) in one of the countries where we place Luce Scholars are eligible to apply to be placed in a country where they do not have significant experience.
The Program seeks Scholars who demonstrate the following traits and interests:
- Exploratory curiosity
- Interest and embrace of diverse perspectives, beliefs, and modes of living
- Commitment to serving and supporting others
Successful candidates will have demonstrated significant leadership ability, intercultural competence, and evidence of potential for professional achievement. Reviewers will consider academic accomplishments; however, the Luce Scholars Program is experiential rather than academic in nature. Personal qualities such as resilience, flexibility, adaptability, maturity, humility, creativity, openness to new ideas, and sensitivity to cultural differences are as important as academic performance.
Candidates are not judged on the basis of whether or not they have developed specific plans for their year in Asia. A candidate may have general ideas about the kind of placement preferred, but this is considered neither a negative nor positive factor in selection.
AHF does not provide feedback on application content for this award. Please consider reaching out to a faculty mentor and/or a previous Critical Language Scholarship recipient for mentorship. A list of previous Scholarship recipients from USC can be found on our Recipients page.
We also recommend making an appointment with The Writing Center for feedback on statements.