Application due date: October 1, 2022

Before you start, read this Luce Scholarship overview. See Application Advice for general tips on fellowship applications, advice about seeking recommendations, and examples of essays by winning candidates.

Seniors and alumni must apply through the Amherst campus process, which includes receiving guidance from the Office of Fellowships on essays and other materials; and requesting recommendation letters to be submitted all by the internal deadline. All candidates then are interviewed by the campus Committee on Student Fellowships, who will decide whom to endorse as Amherst College nominees to the Luce Foundation. Endorsed candidates will have a brief period to revise their application materials as advised within the Luce application portal. The Director of Fellowships will upload an endorsement letter to the application in the portal, and submit the application by the national deadline. Endorsement: Amherst may endorse three candidates.

Application materials: The Luce application includes a personal statement, a short "open" essay, and some questions. Activities and work experience are also entered into the application.

Application Components

The Luce Foundation has an online application portal. After you have read the information below, you may begin the application here. In the portal you will enter your essays; biographical information; publications, awards, and professional associations; work and travel experience; language expertise; and significant coursework. You will not be able to upload a resume, as the application itself provides space for you to enter all activities. You will also enter the names and contact information of your recommenders.

materials you upload or copy and paste into the portal:
  • Personal Statement - (1,500 words) - Use this essay 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.
  • Open Essay - (500 words) the instructions are: "please use this space to tell us anything else that may be relevant to your application" - this is your opportunity to expand upon something that you introduced in your personal statement, or to show Luce a side of yourself that is not otherwise mentioned. Think in terms of information that reveals your motivation, character, leadership or interests. Consult with the Director of Fellowships about what might be interesting to include here.
  • Additional Background (optional) - in 2020, the foundation added questions that give applicants an opportunity to tell the reviewers aspects of their background, identity, and commitment to a particular community that are important for interviewers and selectors to consider. There is also a space to explain how these factors have influenced the applicant's motivation or trajectory, if that is not discussed in the personal statement.
  • Transcripts (official) from Amherst College and all study abroad or transfer institutions. Please request an official AC version since the unofficial version does not include the name of the College. You willl upload these to the Luce portal, either as an electronic version or as a pdf scan of the paper version. 
  • A simple headshot photo (like a passport photo) with a plain background, needed for interview identification
materials you request from others
  • Four Recommendation letters Please include each person’s name, title, address, email, and phone number. For seniors, two letters must be from faculty; the others may be from faculty or people you know in a professional capacity (internships or other work; professional associations; administrators who have witnessed your leadership or service). Before entering their names in the portal, contact your recommenders to explain the Luce Scholarship to them, and ask them to read the information for recommenders on the Luce Overview page. Alert them that the national deadline is October 1, 2022 and they should upload their letters to the portal by that date. We will retrieve them from there.
additional Materials & INTERVIEW FOR nominees

If you are selected by the College for nomination, the Director of Fellowships will return your application to you within the portal. You will have a small window of time in which to revise your materials and complete a form explaining your expected location during Luce finalist interviews, which occur in late January/early February. Your revisions and additional form must be completed, and the application re-submitted, by OCT 27th. As part of the application, Luce conducts "first round" interviews with all nominees either by Skype or in person during November & December. This is different from the finalist interview; it is considered part of the application.

Christine Overstreet, Director of Fellowships
212 Converse Hall, 413-542-2536,   
Eric Myers, Associate Director, Fellowships                                
Mailing address: Office of Fellowships, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 01002