Multicultural Psychology: Understanding Gender in Culture

Rabat, Morocco

Winter 2017: January 3, 2017 - January 28, 2017*

Program Flyer (pdf) 


Undergraduate students will take Multicultural Psychology with Gender in Culture as a focus. Graduate students will take Diversity Issues in Forensic Psychology. Both courses are offered at 3 credits.

Morocco is an ideal place for this program for a number of reasons. First, the recent occurrence termed “Arab Spring” has brought many gender issues to the table in a way not seen before and allows students to experience it in real time. Further, Morocco is a modern Muslim country with a relatively lax censorship system which allows discussion of various issues. Homosexuality is tolerated and laws against partner violence are comparable to any developed country. Recent legislative changes in Morocco also provide new and exciting data for students who are able to witness these changes as they occur through the experiences of fellow Moroccan students, scholars, and NGO’s. Finally, the historical and cultural diversity of Morocco, alongside with their hospitable and tolerant view of foreign visitors will also enhance student experience. 

Students from all majors are encouraged to apply.


Professor Chitra Raghavan received her Ph.D. in Community and Clinical Psychology at the University of Illinois in Urbana Champaign and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the Yale School of Medicine. Prior to joining the John Jay College faculty in 2002, she worked as a research scientistat CASA, Columbia University.

Broadly speaking, Professor Raghavan's research focuses on intimate partnerviolence, intimate partner rape, femicide, and gender rights. Trained as a clinical and community psychologist, the broader cultural context of gender and power always informs her research. As such, Professor Raghavan's research and teaching engage notonly with the more traditional psychological factors believed to triggerdomestic abuse, (e.g., jealousy) but also consider the larger political, economic, and socio-cultural factors that maintain or exacerbate the violence(e.g., social permission to be jealous). Much of her work is interdisciplinaryand international/cross-cultural and she partners with organizations that include lawyers, psychologists, sociologists, social workers, and health careprofessionals.

Currently, Professor Raghavan is working on two projects. In one, she investigates how abusers use different tactics, including coercive control and sexual violence, to achieve control over their intimate partners. In the second, she examines how coercive control (and partner violence) is enacted in gay couples and how these dynamics may vary across gender and sexual orientation.  Students are an integral part of Professor Raghavan's research agenda and she enjoys mentoring, writing, and conducting research with her students who care about the same issues.

Clinically, Professor Raghavan is most interested in appropriate techniques for interviewing women with trauma, accurate screening for women in violent relationships, and ecologically valid measurement methods for court use. In addition to teaching a wide variety of trauma and victimization classes at John Jay College, she has also led  study-abroad programs to Bali, Indonesia and Morocco.


Info sessions will be held in room 1.76 New Building from 1:40pm to 2:55pm.

  1. Monday, September 19, 2016
  2. Tuesday, September 27, 2016
  3. Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Undergraduate and Graduate Courses:
  1. Multicultural Psychology (Undergraduate Course, 3 credits)
  2. Diversity Issues in Forensic Psychology (Graduate Course, 3 credits)


Course Descriptions:
  • Undergraduate Course:

Multicultural Psychology (3 credits) 

Click here (pdf) for undergraduate course syllabus

  • Graduate Course:

Diversity Issues in Forensic Psychology (3 credits)

Click here (pdf) for graduate course syllabus

Gender plays a central role in how we understand and construct culture. Within the context of Moroccan multiculturalism, students will analyze psychological theories on the development of gender, gender identification and gender-typed behavior; research evidence for the presence or absence of gender differences; gender-influenced social development across the life span; psychological aspects of gender roles in the family and in the workplace; gender-related mental health, and the relevancy of gender in everyday life in the context of contemporary Moroccan culture.

Within this context, the program will introduce students to how gender rights in Morocco have been a source of internal contest and how the law on the books, customary law, and community organizations have banded together to improve lives of women in Morocco. Students will be exposed to how the examination of gender rights in the West has tended to marginalize non-Western cultures, stereotype such cultures as patriarchal or violent, and force Western interpretations of human rights without sensitivity to history or cultural context.  While the course will focus on women, class readings and discussions will also include men’s changing roles and LGBTQ rights in Morocco.

  1. 2.5 GPA
  2. If graduate student, good Standing in a MA program
  3.  Can be applied to the Gender Studies Major with permission from the program director.
  4. Previous study of French or Arabic a plus                                                                                                                      


  • Housing: Students will stay with local families (2 students per family) arranged by Center for Cross Cultural Learning, Rabat. Homestays allow for further cultural immersion, providing first-hand cultural experiences. Families will have hosted American students previously. 
  • Fluctuating exchange rates and other fees may lead to program cost changes.
  • Program cost is based on a minimum number of participants for the program.
  • Students should discuss applicability of financial aid with the Financial Aid office.
  • Refund Policy: Payment of the program deposit indicates the student understands and agrees to the Office of International Studies & Program’s payment and refund policies.  Students who withdraw from a John Jay College program after confirming participation, but before the program begins, will lose the non-refundable deposit and any unrecoverable costs: students will be refunded 50 percent of program fees 30 days prior to the program start date, and 25 percent of program fees 14 days prior to the program start date. After the start of the program, no refunds will be provided, and the student is responsible for all program fees. If the program fee is not paid in full, there will be a hold placed on her/his CUNYfirst account.
  • For faculty-led programs, tuition refunds will be granted following the College’s policies.  For more information, please visit:
  • College-based funders retain the right to recoup funds from the student account if the student does not follow rules of the CUNY Travel Waiver & Release Form, uses the funds for other purposes, or withdraws from the program. Students must understand that they are responsible for full payment of the amount owed to the department. The Office of International Studies and Programs (OISP) has the right to modify or cancel the program, including  changes to the program dates, costs, scheduled visits, program itinerary, etc., as dictated by economic and/or political situations, etc.
  • Students are responsible for purchasing their own airfare, and for their itinerary. Due to possible changes in program dates/itinerary information, students are not to purchase airfare until prompted by OISP.
  • Students are encouraged to apply early, due to limited space.
  • Information is tentative, and subject to change*, program cost(s), dates, etc.


Health Infomation for Travelers to Morocco:
It is important to be aware of the health information provided by the US Center for Disease Control and
Prevention. All vaccines should be up to date, and it is important to check the vaccines and medicines list and
visit your doctor (ideally, 4-6 weeks) before your trip to get vaccines or medicines you may need. Ask your
doctor what vaccines and medicines you need based on where you are going, how long you are staying, what you
will be doing, and if you are traveling from a country other than the US. 
More information can be found on the Center for Disease Control website.

Please note that most travelers:

Get the following travel vaccines and medicines because there is a risk of these diseases in Morocco.

Hepatitis A

CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Morocco, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

get_vaccinated eat_drink


You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Morocco. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.



Application and deadline:

Applications are available from the Office of International Studies & Programs (Haaren Hall, Suite 530). Applications can also be found here.

Application Deadline: Friday, October 28, 2016However, qualified applicants will be admitted on a rolling basis until places are filled. Thus, due to limited places, students are encouraged to apply early.

Please note: An application fee of $40.00 is due at the time of application. Money orders, personal checks and cash are accepted. Applications will not be accepted if incomplete. More information can be found here.


Estimate Program Fee: $2,675.00**

**Subject to change. Includes homestay accommodations, some meals, health insurance, excursions and transportation on-site associated with program. Does not include tuition, airfare, some meals, personal expenses and excursions, etc.

January 2017 Costs

     Please note: all non-CUNY students, please contact OISP for more information


John Jay College Tuition and Fees
Undergraduate Tuition and Fees


Students should make an appointment with the Financial Aid Office to discuss the applicability of their financial aid to this program. 


Inquire at the International Studies & Programs Office for information. If you are a John Jay student, you can apply for the John Jay Study Abroad Scholarship (JJSAS) and the Student Travel Fund. For more on scholarship opportunities click here. U.S.-wide scholarship opportunites can be found here.

Contact Michael Scaduto for more information in regards to the JJSAS and general scholarship opportunities for John Jay students at 212-237-8872 or email at


Prof. Chitra Raghavan, Department of Pscyhology (Academic Inquiries)

Ken Yanes, Dep. Director

Emily Ahmetaj, Coordinator

Office Location:
524 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019; Haaren Hall, Suite 530

Mailing Address:
524 West 59th Street, New York, NY 10019; Haaren Hall, Suite 530