Department of Music Harpur College of Arts and Sciences Binghamton University, State University of New York

Department of Music Harpur College of Arts and Sciences Binghamton University, State University of New York

Vestal, NY
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
June 15
fall application deadline
acceptance rate
1 Degree Offered
degrees offered


Master of Music and Master of Music in Opera degree programs connect performers, composers, conductors, and historians

Some say that mathematics is the universal language. But music crosses cultural divides just as readily, expressing the emotions and ideas of nations and eras. Binghamton University's Department of Music consists of expert faculty members from various backgrounds who guide students to greater appreciation and skill in all branches of the discipline.

The music program has over 35 faculty members with expertise in all instruments and playing styles, as well as vocal performance, composition, and more. Binghamton boasts a symphony orchestra, wind ensemble, jazz ensemble, three choral groups, an African dance and drumming ensemble, and more. Collaborative opportunities with the Department of Theatre prove advantageous for students wishing to study performance in operatic or musical styles.

The MM degree program (32 credits) has five areas of emphasis, which are conducting, composition, instrumental performance, vocal performance, or music history and literature. A thesis is required for graduation, which consists of recitals or a written research project depending on the area of concentration.

The MM in Opera degree program (36 credits) is fulfilled in partnership with Tri-Cities Opera Company. It culminates in a full recital, alongside either a leading role in performance or a combination of supporting roles. Students receive training in acting, movement, diction (in German, French, Italian, English, Chinese, and more), and history.

Work with distinguished performers and scholars

Some of the diverse faculty members at Binghamton include Bruce Borton, James Burns, and Mary Burgess.

Bruce Borton is associate professor and director of graduate studies for the department. He has composed choral works that have been heard around the US and in Europe. In addition, professor Borton has been an active church musician for decades.

James Burns is associate professor of music and Africana studies. As an ethnomusicologist, professor Burns has traveled to several remote areas of West Africa for field research. His findings are represented by publications and original sound recordings, which bring listeners closer to previously unfamiliar traditions.

Mary Burgess, associate professor of music, is an accomplished soprano soloist. She has played opera roles at festivals nationally and internationally, and has given solo concerts with orchestras to showcase an expansive repertoire. Her recording credits include Beethoven's "Choral Fantasy," sacred pieces by Bach and Vivaldi, and Mendelssohn's duets.

Student opportunities and accomplishments

The Binghamton University Symphony Orchestra has been honored to accompany the Paul Taylor Dance Company on two occasions. The university chorus performs alongside local ensembles, and graduate students in composition have competed and won awards at national competitions. Opera singers gain professional training at Tri-Cities Opera Company, whose season typically consists of three productions that frequently include Binghamton graduate students.

Location & Contact

Department of Music

Harpur College of Arts and Sciences
Binghamton University, State University of New York

4400 Vestal Parkway East
Vestal, NY 13850
United States

Dr. James Burns


Phone: 607-777-2592

Ms. Kishan Zuber

Recruiting and Admissions Coordinator

Phone: 607-777-2151
Fax: 607-777-2501

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Music Master of Music (MM)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees 7
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? Not reported
    • Evening/weekend programs available? Not reported
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Not reported
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


47% of applicants are admitted.
  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied 38
    • Accepted 18
    • Acceptance Rate 47
    • Enrolled 10
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $75
    • Application Fee - International $75
    • Electronic applications accepted? Yes
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Yes
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline June 15th June 15th Yes
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline October 15th October 15th Yes
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported

Tuition & Fees

  • Tuition & Fees *
    • Tuition & FeesNot Reported
    • *Average dollar amount (tuition & fees) required to complete the degree
  • Financial Support
    • Financial award applicants must submitFAFSA
    • Application deadlines for financial awardsFebruary 15
    • Types of financial support availableTeaching Assistantships, Tuition Waivers, Career or Field-Related Internships, Federal Work-Study, Health Care Benefits, Institutionally-sponsored Loans, Scholarship and/or loans, Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students17
    • Female Percentage35%
    • Male Percentage65%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students17
    • Part-time Percentage18%
    • Full-time Percentage82%
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / Latino0%
    • Black / African American6%
    • White / Caucasian94%
    • American Indian / Alaskan Native0%
    • Asian0%
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific Islander0%
    • Two or more races0%
    • Unknown0%


  • Faculty Breakout
    • Total Faculty39
    • Full-time Percentage31%
    • Part-time Percentage69%
    • Female Percentage31%
    • Male Percentage69%




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