About the Luce Program
Scholarship Details and Eligibility
Campus Endorsement Process
Recent Luce Scholar Bios & Placements
USC Luce Scholars
AHF Advising

About the Luce Program

Per the Luce Foundation website: 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, including but not limited to the arts, journalism, law, medicine, science, public health, environmental studies, and international relations.

The Henry Luce Foundation seeks to develop a new level of understanding of Asia among future leaders of American society. The program is aimed at students with varied academic backgrounds who demonstrate leadership and have had no prior experience in Asian affairs. Leadership can be broadly defined by the following characteristics: initiative, creativity, the respect of one’s peers, maturity, strength of character, self-confidence tempered by self-awareness, a sense of responsibility, sensitivity, a positive personality. Luce Scholars gain new perspectives and cultural insights on their host countries through immersive living and working experiences in Asia. 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.

The “Luce year” begins in late June with orientation in New York and San Francisco. Luce Scholars engage in intensive language study in Asia in July and August. Placements begin in September, and conclude with a wrap-up meeting in July of the following year. For more information, visit the Luce website here.

Scholarship Details and Eligibility

The program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15-18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a variety of fields who have had limited exposure to Asia. The program is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia. Those who already have significant experience in Asia or have majored in Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program. On the other hand, candidates may have taken Asian language or Asia-focused courses (without majoring in Asian Studies). They are allowed to have spent up to a total of 18 weeks in countries where Luce Scholars are placed.

Minimum Eligibility

At the time of application, an applicant must:

  • be a U.S. Citizen
  • be under the age of 30
  • have earned a bachelors degree before taking part in the program
  • have limited exposure to Asia (spent no more than 18 weeks in countries where Luce Scholars are placed)
  • have USC endorsement

Luce Scholar candidates are nominated by seventy-five colleges and universities. The Luce Foundation cannot accept individual applications submitted directly to the foundation.

Successful candidates should have a record of high achievement, outstanding leadership ability, and clearly defined interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments.

Campus Endorsement Process

USC may nominate up to three Luce Scholar candidates in each application cycle. Competitive applicants seeking USC Endorsement will take the following steps:

  1. Review the Luce Scholars website
  2. Meet with an Academic Honors and Fellowships advisor
    • Discuss interest in applying and determine competitiveness. Click here to request an appointment.
  3. Request letters of recommendation
    • Luce requires 4 letters of recommendation from your referees. Letters should be signed on official letterhead and represent a range of academic and professional references.
  4. Complete the Luce Scholars Application for Campus Endorsement
    • Campus Endorsement Deadline: Friday, September 28, 2018, 5:00 PM (PST)
    • Submit all application components, including four letters of recommendation.
  5. Interview for Campus Endorsement 
    • After initial screening, competitive applicants are invited to interview before a USC staff and/or faculty panel. Once interviewed, up to three candidates will be supported with university endorsement by mid-October.
  6. Submit final Luce Scholars Application 
    • National Deadline: Monday, November 1, 2018
    • Endorsed candidates will work with AHF advisor to finalize all application details before submission.

Recent Luce Scholar Bios & Placements

At the midway point of their year in Asia, Luce Scholars take time to reflect on what their experience has taught them so far and how much they still hope to learn. Click here to read the 2017-2018 edition of the Notes from the Field.

Bios & Placements of Past Luce Scholars

USC Luce Scholars

  • 2013: Tamara Shogaolu
  • 2011: Craig Western
  • 2007: Miles Dail Killingsworth
  • 2006: Roberto C. Padilla
  • 2005: Samuel A. Bazzi
  • 2001: John R. Cochran IV & Caroline P. Hennen
  • 2000: Tyler Kelley
  • 1997: Nicole M. Fraser
  • 1991: Pamella J. Dana & William S. Gregory
  • 1988: Amy R. Forbes
  • 1983: Dennis J. Scannell
  • 1982: Douglas N. Hamilton
  • 1978: Daniel A. Waxer
  • 1975: Laurie M. Phillips

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