Luce Scholars Program

The Luce Scholars Program is a nationally competitive fellowship that offers early career leaders immersive, professional experiences in Asia. It is experiential rather than academic in nature and aims to forge stronger, more informed, more compassionate relationships across geographic borders by creating opportunities for young Americans across diverse sectors and interests to deepen their ties and understanding of the countries, cultures, and people of Asia.                                             

The Program provides stipends, language training, and individualized professional placement in Asia for 15 to 18 Luce Scholars each year, and welcomes applications from college seniors, graduate students, and young professionals in a wide range of fields and from a variety of backgrounds who have had limited exposure to Asia. 

The application will open in early June, and close on October 1st.

Note: The Luce Scholars Program does not have an internal GVSU deadline. However, applicants must still work with Dr. Tooley throughout the application process!


The intent of the program is to provide an in-depth experience in Asia to young Americans who would not otherwise have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the country where they are placed. 

  • Candidates must be U.S. citizens or permanent residents.  
  • Candidates may be graduating seniors, recent graduates, or young professionals under the age of 32, OR if older than 32, candidates must have received their bachelor's degree within the past three years
  • Candidates who have spent a significant amount of time (18 weeks or more since beginning college) in more than one of the countries where we place Luce Scholars are not eligible to apply for the Luce.
  • Candidates who have spent 18 weeks or more (since beginning college) in only one of the countries where we place Luce Scholars are eligible to apply but will not be placed in the country where they have spent significant time.

Important Dates


April - Online application portal opens in April each year and remains open through Mid-October.
October – Application deadline, all application materials must be submitted by the deadline date.
Mid-November – Semi-finalists are invited for virtual interviews with a Luce Scholars alumnus 
Early December – Finalists are notified of their status and invited to a finalist weekend
January – Finalist Weekend - Finalists attend programming, workshops, and two-person panel interviews at an in-person selection in San Diego, California. Attendance at the finalist weekend is required for all applicants selected as finalists. All expenses associated with the selection process (travel to the finalist weekend, lodging, food, etc.) will be covered by the program.  
Early February - Cohort of Luce Scholars is publicly announced.

Application Information

Candidates must first complete an eligibility questionnaire. If eligible, they will be prompted to complete the application which includes the following:

  • Written Application – Candidates provide biographical and contact information, respond to short answer questions, and write a personal statement.
  • Request Forms for Two Letters of Recommendation (LOR) – Candidates complete a form for each recommender. Once a form is submitted, an email is sent to the recommender. Letters must be uploaded separately by the recommenders. LORs can be from academic or professional references. They should come from people who know the candidate well and can speak to their skills, abilities, and potential. LORs should be signed on official letterhead whenever possible. 
  • Academic Transcripts – Candidates upload transcripts of all college and graduate work. 
  • A 1-2 Minute Video – Candidates record and upload a 1–2-minute video based on the provided prompt. The video gives program administrators a chance to get to know the candidate beyond the page. 

Page last modified March 13, 2024