Luce Scholars Program

Is it for you?

The award provides for a year-long internship in Asia, arranged for each Scholar on the basis of their specific interests, background, qualifications, and experience. The program was designed as a cultural experience for young leaders who have had no prior exposure to Asia or at least to their intended host region, and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia or their Asian counterparts and contemporaries. The program seeks to broaden their professional perspective and to sharpen their perceptions of Asia, of America, and of themselves.

What are the key dates?

The application cycle for 2023 has closed. Please check back in spring/summer 2024 for updates on the next cycle. 

Information Sessions: Representatives of the Luce Scholars Program offer webinars throughout the application cycle. Please watch the Luce website for news about 2024 sessions.

NFP deadline for draft review: TBD for 2024 (normally early October)

Official deadline: TBD for 2024 (normally mid-October)

Are you eligible?

Candidates for the Luce Scholarship must:

  • 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, must have received their bachelor’s degree within the past three years.
  • not have spent a significant amount of time (18 weeks or more since beginning college) in more than one of the countries in Northeast, Southeast, and South Asia where Luce Scholars are placed. Candidates who have spent 18 weeks or more (since beginning college) in only one of the countries where Luce Scholars are placed are eligible to apply, but will not be placed in the country where they have spent significant time.

How do you work with the NFP?

As of 2022, no institutional endorsement is required for applicants to complete the Luce Scholars application and for this reason there is also no internal campus deadline at JHU, only a deadline for submitting drafts for applicants who wish to receive feedback from NFP. Applicants simply submit their complete application to the online portal by the official deadline. You can find the website below in the “Have a closer look” section. The NFP can provide feedback on your application materials (if submitted to NFP by the deadline noted above) and works with Luce finalists to help prepare them for interviews. We also host a Canvas course for applicants with resources, including sample essays. To request access, please email us at nfp@jhu.edu.

The timeline gives an overview of the application process and when to reach out to us. In preparation, see “have a closer look” below for more resources about the Luce.

Summer/early Fall
Contact NFP to learn more; begin working on application materials
Meet Luce official deadline

Are you competitive?

About 18 scholarships are awarded each year. By the official deadline, applicants must complete and submit the Luce online application, which includes:

  • Biographical information and responses to a few short answer questions.
  • A personal statement that should convey a sense of who you are and reflect on your personal journey, your long-range profession interests and how they have developed, how you have embodied your own kind of leadership, and how a year in Asia with Luce might be transformative.
  • An informal 1-2 minute video response based on the provided prompt.
  • Two letters of recommendation, which may come from academic or professional references. Recommenders must upload their letters (in PDF, signed, and on letterhead) to your Luce online application.
  • Academic Transcript(s) for all college and graduate work.


Have a closer look:

Visit the Official Website

The Luce Foundation

Hear from JHU Recipients

HUB article about Nihaal Rahman, 2021 Luce Scholar

HUB article about Maya Foster, 2020 Luce Scholar

HUB article about Seheri Swint, 2018 Luce Scholar

Peer testimonial from Seheri Swint (2018 Luce Scholar)

Start Your Application

Luce Scholars Program Application Portal