University of Illinois

Luce Scholars Program


One year internship in East or Southeast Asia for those with little academic or personal knowledge of Asia (less than twelve weeks spent in Asia or some Asian language courses are not means for disqualification). Young professionals, seniors, and graduate/professional students are eligible to apply. Must be a U.S. citizen under the age of 30.

Who they are looking for:

The goal of the program is to provide an Asian experience for those who will be future leaders in their field and communities, but have yet to have significant contact with Asian affairs. The Luce Scholars Program selection criteria include an applicant's: (a) strong, mature, and clearly defined career interest in a specific field (any professional field but Asian Affairs is acceptable); (b) motivation and potential for accomplishment within their field; (c) academic achievement, especially in their field; (d) capacity for leadership; and (e) openness to new ideas and a sensitivity to their fellow human beings. The single most important consideration is that nominees give evidence of potential for leadership and accomplishment, both within a chosen profession and as members of the broader American community. Read more about recent Illinois Luce Scholars.

Early Review:

University of Illinois students and alumni are encouraged to submit drafts of their application to the National and International Scholarships Program well in advance of the campus deadline in order to receive feedback from the directors. The National and International Scholarships Program is willing to work with applicants through numerous revisions. Submit the application via email to us at with a few potential meeting times to receive feedback.

REQUIRED Campus Deadline: September 24, 2014 at 12:00 noon

A complete Luce application must be submitted to the National and International Scholarships Program in order to be considered for University of Illinois endorsement (a requirement to move forward in the competition). We will schedule interviews of short-listed candidates to be conducted within a few weeks of the application deadline. Based on your submittal and an interview, a Luce Scholars Campus Review Committee will determine your endorsement. The University will endorse those candidates the Committee feels have the potential to be Luce Scholars; up to three applicants may receive this endorsement.

          Required information:

  1. A signed Scholarship Waiver (either scanned or in hardcopy)
  2. Official transcripts from all college and graduate work
  3. At least 4 Letters of Recommendation (whenever possible, letters should represent a range of academic, professional, and personal references)
  4. A complete Luce Scholars Application (be sure all of your text appears in the printed form!), including a two-page personal statement outlining your (a) long-range career interests and how they have developed, (b) understanding of leadership, and (c) reasons for applying to the Luce Scholars Program

Endorsed Applicant Deadline: October 30, 2014 at 12:00 noon

Those students who have been endorsed need to submit their final Luce application packet to the National and International Scholarships Program by this date. At this time, you will need to provide your revised original Luce application form (including your signature), any revised letters of recommendation, and two recent passport-size color photographs with your name on them.

We are required to send all of your materials (including letters) to the Luce Foundation. Students may either hand deliver letters of recommendation in signed, sealed envelopes, or they may be submitted to the National and International Scholarships Program directly by the referee. While letters are submitted on campus, they should be written to the attention of the "Committee of Selection". If letter writers wish to include the address, it is:

Henry Luce Foundation
51 Madison Avenue, 30th Floor
New York, NY 10010

The Final Stages:

The National and International Scholarships Program submits an official University Endorsement Letter along with your complete application materials (including reference letters) to the Luce Foundation. Your next step will be waiting to hear from the Luce Foundation. Each nominee will be interviewed by a Foundation member or former Luce Scholar who is in a vaguely similar career (as close as they can match you geographically and academically). Expect your interview to be held in November or December. From this individual meeting, that interviewer will determine if you are one of approximately 45 finalists to meet for a second round of interviews in early February. Between 15 and 18 Luce Scholars will be named each year.

General Application Tips:

The boxes do not expand in the application, so review your application when it is printed to ensure everything you typed appears on the printed version.

Luce Website and Application:

For official information on the Luce Scholars Program (which supersedes any information provided here), please go An application form is available at