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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.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Music (MM)

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 7

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No
Terminal master's degree available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Entrance Exam GRE (for music history and literature applicants)
Comp Exam Required
Thesis Required for some


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Application Deadlines

Type Domestic International Priority date
Fall deadline April 1st April 1st Yes
Spring deadline October 1st October 1st Yes

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Exam GRE (for music history and literature applicants)
Master's Degree Requirements Portfolio, writing sample

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 550
TOEFL IBT score: 80

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards February 15
Types of financial support available Teaching Assistantships
Health Care Benefits
Institutionally-sponsored Loans
Scholarship and/or loans
Graduate Assistantships

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 5.56%
Black or African American 11.11%
White or Caucasian 44%
American Indian or Alaska Native Not Reported
Asian Not Reported
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander Not Reported
Two or more races 5.56%
Unknown Not Reported


Male (38%)
Female (61%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 12
Part-time - 0
Male (9)
Female (3)

Location & Contact

Address 4400 Vestal Parkway East
Binghamton, NY  13902-6000
United States
Contact Christopher Bartlette
Director of Graduate Studies
Phone: 607-777-2559

Binghamton University, State University of New York