Carnegie Mellon University

Luce Scholars Program

A fully-funded year-long internship experience in East or Southeast Asia.  Scholars are placed by the Luce Foundation with regard to their professional and intellectual interests and goals, and language training for the internship location is provided. 


  • U.S. citizens under the age of 30
  • Graduating seniors, graduate students, and young professionals
  • Limited experience of Asia (less than 12 weeks spent in any Luce country – see list on their website)


The Luce Scholars Program seeks candidates who show significant promise to be leaders in their professional fields, their communities, and society. The mission of the program is to provide a year of experiential learning for future leaders whose professional paths would be enhanced by a greater understanding of Asia.  The specific selection criteria are:

  • Outstanding capacity for leadership
  • High record of achievement in the applicant’s academic/professional field
  • Mature and clearly defined career interests with evidence of potential for professional accomplishments
  • Flexibility, adaptability, creativity, humility, openness to new ideas, and sensitivity to cultural differences 




Students must apply through FSO by the required campus deadline in order to be considered for nomination.  Carnegie Mellon can only nominate three candidates to move forward in the national competition.

  • Interested students should contact the FSO over the summer in order to begin the application process.
  • Book an appointment with FSO Assistant Director Dr. Richelle Bernazzoli or Director Dr. Stephanie Wallach. 
  • If you are away from campus, we will arrange a phone or Skype meeting.



All students and alumni seeking Carnegie Mellon nomination for the Luce Scholarship must comply with this deadline in order to be considered.

Required materials:

  • A signed FSO Scholarship Waiver
  • A complete Luce Scholarship application(including personal statement) emailed or delivered in hard copy to FSO. Be sure all of your text is visible when the form is previewed for printing.  If you receive a nomination, you will be able to make changes to your application ahead of the final deadline.
  • Transcripts for all colleges or universities attended, including study abroad (unofficial CMU transcripts are okay at this stage)
  • Four recommendation letters from a range of academic and professional references, specifically tailored for the Luce Scholarship. Recommenders should email their letters directly to FSO.

After the campus deadline, a nomination committee will review all applications.  Nominated applicants will then be notified and guided through the final steps of the application process.



By this date, nominated applicants must submit final versions of their applications to FSO, along with hard copies of official transcripts for all colleges and universities attended.  Recommenders also must send the final versions of their letters by this date. We will mail the nomination packets to the Luce Foundation, to arrive by the foundation deadline of November 1st. 



Unlike with other scholarship programs, all Luce nominees get initial-round interviews. These first interviews may take place via Skype or in person, depending on the location of the applicant.  After the initial interviews, finalists are selected for in-person interviews, which typically take place in late January.  FSO assists finalists with interview preparation, including organizing mock interviews. Notification of selected and non-selected candidates typically occurs in early February.