Luce Scholars Program

Instructions to Applicants for Awards in 2018-19

Please complete the following:

Notification of Intent to Apply (by September 15, 2017)
Luce Scholars Application (by October 2, 2017 to


The University of Minnesota is one of seventy-five colleges and universities invited to participate in the Luce Scholars Program.  Fifteen to eighteen young Americans of outstanding promise and high leadership ability are sent each year to Asia for professional apprenticeships under the guidance of leading Asians. Internships and job placements are arranged for each Scholar on the basis of individual career interests, experience, training, and general background. (No academic credit is involved.) The Luce Scholars program year officially begins with an orientation session in New York in late June, and ends with a wrap-up meeting in Asia in July a year later.


Applicants must be U.S. citizens no more than twenty-nine years of age by July 1 of the year they enter the program, and they must have earned at least a Bachelor's degree by that date. They may be currently enrolled students in any college at the University of Minnesota, recent graduates, or junior faculty. Applicants who have a major in Asian studies, or who have spent more than twelve weeks in Asia, are ineligible.


  • Notification of Intent to Apply (by September 15, 2017)
  • Luce Scholars Application (by October 2, 2017 to
    • Included in the application form: A personal statement outlining
      • (a) long-range career interests, and how they have developed;
      • (b) your understanding of leadership; and
      • (c) reasons for applying to the Luce Scholars Program.
    • Submit complete application form to: The Graduate School Fellowship Office, University of Minnesota, 314 Johnston Hall, 101 Pleasant St. S.E., Minneapolis, MN 55455. For questions call (612) 625-7579.
  • Academic Transcripts. Official transcripts of all college and graduate work.
  • Two Recent Passport-size Color Photographs.
  • Four Letters of Recommendation.
    • Letters should be signed and represent a range of academic, professional, and personal references.
    • NOTE: All letters must have original signatures. Emailed letters will not be accepted.

Language Criteria

Since the program is geared to the non-specialist, knowledge of an Asian language is not a criterion for selection. It is assumed that all Scholars will study the appropriate language prior to their departure. Special funds may be made available for this purpose.

Stipend and Allowance

Luce Scholars receive a significant basic stipend and, if necessary, separate cost-of-living or housing allowances. Economy class air transportation and medical insurance are also covered. 

Selection Criteria

Selection criteria are based on (1) a record of outstanding academic achievement, (2) evidence of leadership, both within a chosen profession and as a member of the broader American community, (3) a clearly defined career interest in a specific field. 

Application Procedure

Campus interviews are conducted during the month of October. The University of Minnesota may nominate three candidates. Those who are nominated are screened by the Luce Foundation during November and December. A personal interview is conducted with each nominee.

Early in January, approximately forty-five finalists are selected from the total pool of nominees. They are invited to appear, at Foundation expense, before one of three regional selection committees that meet in early February. Each of these committees interview fifteen finalists, from whom five to six Luce Scholars are chosen.

Related Links

Henry Luce Foundation