Luce Scholars Program

Do you want to spend a year in Asia? 

Eighteen young Americans of outstanding promise are sent each year to the Far East for professional apprenticeships under the guidance of leading Asians in the interest of improving American understanding of Asia. Students of Asian studies are specifically excluded in favor of those whose professional interests may range from architecture to zoology. Requires university nomination. Eligibility is limited to U.S. citizens under 30 years of age.


Candidates must:

  1. Be U.S. citizens or permanent residents who would not have reached their 30th birthday by July 1st of the year they enter the program.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Have spent less than a total of 18 weeks since graduating from high school in one or more countries where Luce Scholars are placed.

Link to Official Website

When to apply

Students should apply early Fall or senior year or year prior to program start.

Next Steps

  1. Review the eligibility requirements on this page to ensure that you are (or will be) eligible to apply.
  2. Review the calendar of events and deadlines on this page to ensure that the campus application deadlines have not passed. If it is past the deadline, please contact us to see if we are still accepting applications.
  3. Complete the brief Declaration of Interest form and send a resume to
  4. Download and review the Luce Scholarship application (DOC).
  5. Submit a completed application by the Campus Application Deadline to CUSE National Fellowships at Recommenders should submit their letters directly to (Note that you do not have to submit the two photos at this time. You can also submit unofficial grade histories instead of official transcripts. Finally, if you cannot obtain 4 letters of recommendation for the deadline, you can still apply, though try to have as many as possible submitted to us.)
  6. You should hear from CUSE regarding your application status within two weeks of the Nomination Application Deadline. If you are nominated, you will have additional time to revise your application before the final deadline.

Calendar of Deadlines and Events

April 1-30, 2019 Schedule a meeting with Jenny Smith
June 1, 2019 Submit Draft 1 for feedback
July 1-3, 2019 Schedule a phone meeting with Jenny Smith
August 1, 2019 Submit Draft 2 for feedback
September 3-6, 2019 Schedule a meeting with Jenny Smith
October 1, 2019 Nomination Deadline 
November 2019 Application Deadline