The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship program. It 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.

The program, open to both U.S. citizens and permanent residents, is unique among American-Asian exchanges in that it is intended for young leaders who have had limited experience of Asia and who might not otherwise have an opportunity in the normal course of their careers to come to know Asia. Those who already have significant experience in Asia or Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program.

General Eligibility

Please see the program website for specific eligibility requirements.

  • Class year: Graduating seniors and alumni. Candidates must have received at least a bachelor’s degree and will not have yet reached their 30th birthday.

  • Citizenship: U.S. citizen or permanent residents.

Other eligibility guidelines:

  • Those who already have significant experience in Asia or Asian studies are not eligible for the Luce Scholars Program.

  • Candidates may have taken Asian language or Asia-focused courses (without majoring in Asian Studies). They may have spent up to a total of twelve weeks in countries where Luce Scholars are placed.

Application Process

Davidson College supports and must nominate qualified Davidson candidates for the Luce Scholarship. The College may nominate up to three candidates each year. Candidates must first apply through Davidson’s campus application process (early fall semester), followed by the official Luce process (early November).

The Luce Foundation has announced it will not accept applications in 2021. Check back for application information in 2022.

Learn More

For more information, contact Prof. Shelley Rigger at or the Fellowships and Scholarships Program at You can also schedule a Fellowships & Scholarships advising appointment with Gaylena Merritt, Associate Director for Fellowships & Experiential Learning, through Handshake (login required).

Davidson Luce Scholars

2007 - Dane A. Erikson (China)

2006 - Elizabeth Marie Melchionna (Thailand)

2001 - Jason Prince

1991 - Mark Sandy (Japan)

1985 - Lillian Grace Woo (Malaysia)

1981 - Robert F. Campany (Taiwan)