Luce Scholars Program (rising seniors & alumnae)

Direct application deadline: October 1, 2022 [note that as of 2022, no prior campus endorsement is required - but we're still delighted to offer help and advice to Wellesley applicants]

Fellowships Summer Starting Line: Ready, Set, Fellowship!  Fill out this form by June 10 to gain special access to 15 minute advising sessions throughout the summer (don’t worry: you’ll still have access to regular 30 minute appointments through Handshake too!).  As an added bonus, you'll be able to book more than two of the 15 minute appointments at a time (including weekly or bi-weekly recurring meetings), which ordinarily you can't do in Handshake.

Optional Priority Draft Deadline: 11:30 om on July 25, 2022 - if you submit drafts through this Google form by the July 25 deadline you are guaranteed feedback before the relevant deadlines, and you'll get priority in the booking of advising appointments.

The Luce Scholars Program was launched by the Henry Luce Foundation in 1974 to enhance the understanding of Asia among potential leaders in American society. 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, and who, in the normal, course of their careers, may not have the opportunity to come to know Asia.

Did you know? Camara Jones '76, 2018 Alumnae Achievement Awardee, was a Luce Scholar, and Zoe Sobel '14 won in 2019!



Who is eligible?

  • U.S. citizens or permanent residents;
  • Graduates and seniors who will obtain their bachelor’s degree before the start of the grant on July 1 following application;
  • Applicants under the age of 32 (or if older, within 3 years of earning the bachelor's degree: Davis Scholars, take note);
  • Individuals who have a clear career objective and who have already demonstrated leadership and other professional achievements in their field; and
  • Applicants who have not completed significant study of Asia or spent more than 24 weeks since the start of college in one or more of the Luce countries.

Learn more about this extraordinary program via the official website.  Get inspired: Have a look at lists of recent Luce Scholars to see some of the many different kinds of placements possible and to read Luce Scholars’ stories in Notes from the Field.

What makes a strong applicant for this fellowship?

  • The ability persuasively to answer the central questions: “Why you?”, “Why Asia?”, and “Why now?”


How do I apply?

Interested Wellesley College applicants for the Luce Scholars Program must first apply for nomination by Wellesley; see the application checklist and timeline below. Wellesley is able to nominate a maximum of three candidates per year. Interested applicants, having explored the Luce website, our webinar, and the campus application information provided here, are warmly encouraged to drop in virtually or in person to Fellowship Pop-Ups (see events listings for details) book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake. (Note that appointments are available year-round, and via telephone and video chat as well as in person.)

Cannot find an available appointment? Drop by Fellowships Virtual Pop-Up Advising no appointment required (check this website's Events listings for details).  Also check out our recorded Luce Scholars Program webinar for an introduction to the program and helpful tips.


Application checklist

Please submit the following by the campus application deadline:

☐ Four letters of recommendation (these should include academic and professional references). As for references with as much advance notice as possible. (The new official online application system is now available, via the Luce website: you can enter the writers' contact details and trigger the system to send them links to allow them to submit their letters. If they could be submitted by shortly after the campus application deadline that would be very helpful, thanks!)

Please submit the following application materials to the campus committee via the link here:

☐ Completed official online application (found via the Luce website), including the 1,500-word personal statement, which asks you to: "Use the Personal Statement to convey a sense of who you are, and reflect on, among other things, (a) your personal journey; (b) your long-range professional interests, and how they have developed; (c) how you have embodied your own kind of leadership; and (d) how a year in Asia with Luce might be transformative."

☐ Unofficial transcripts (Wellesley, study abroad, and any other institutions)

☐ Wellesley Fellowships office signature document (please print, sign & date this form, then submit a scanned pdf or other image of the signed document along with your application materials)

Note that should your application be nominated by Wellesley for the Luce Scholars Program, you will need to have official copies of any applicable non-Wellesley transcripts (e.g. transfer, study abroad, and/or graduate institutions) sent to the Fellowships office at Wellesley; and you'll need two photos (as per the official application instructions).


Application timeline

Spring/Summer before applying

  • Visit the official website to learn more about the Luce Scholars Program; view our recorded webinar. Have a look at Scholars' stories and perhaps the directory of Luce Scholars to see some of the many different kinds of placements possible.
  • Explore career options and paths in your field, and conduct informational interviews with Wellesley graduates and other mentors further along in their careers than you are, to help you articulate "your long-range professional interests" in the Luce application.
  • Start your official online application (found via the Luce website); please see the application checklist below.
  • Speak with Kate Dailinger at Wellesley about your application and plans to apply; drop in to Pop-Up Fellowship Advising (see Events listings on this website); or book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake (appointments available year-round, via telephone and video-chat, as well as in person).
  • Contact your references to discuss your plans to apply for the Luce and to request letters. Solicit their advice on your plans and essays.
  • Start writing! Complete several drafts of your application essay and share with Kate Dailinger, mentors and others for feedback.

Optional Priority Draft Deadline: 11:30 pm EST on Monday, October 3, 2022

  • If you submit drafts through this Google form by the July 25 deadline you are guaranteed feedback before the relevant deadlines, and you'll get priority in the booking of advising appointments.

August/Early September

  • Plan to email a first draft of your essay to for review (the earlier the better!); book a Fellowships advising appointment via Handshake to talk over feedback. [Pro tip: try to meet the optional campus draft deadline, typically in late July or early August, to beat the autumn rush and secure an advising appointment during the busiest season of the year.]
  • Follow up with your reference-writers to confirm they will be able meet the campus deadline.

Campus deadline: 11:30 pm on Monday, October 3, 2022

  • Request that your references submit their letters by this date if at all possible (via the official online aplication system, accessible to applicants via the Luce website).

  • Submit required application materials to the campus committee via the link here.

Mid-to-late October

  • Applications are reviewed by campus Luce committee, and shortlisted candidates will be invited to interview (graduates need not travel to campus but may interview via telephone/video call).

  • All applicants are informed about their nomination status.

  • Nominees make final revisions and polish application.

Late October
Final deadline for submission of complete application. Applications will be reviewed and forwarded to Luce for the national deadline, typically November 1.

Luce Scholar semi-finalist interviews are conducted at locations across the country.

Mid-to-late January
Luce Scholar finalists are announced.

Early February
Luce Scholar finalist interviews held.

Final Luce Scholar results are announced.


Email or call Caitlin Roberts-Donovan at 781.283.2347.