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Zippia Ranks Catawba College #3 in N.C. among Top Colleges for Music Majors

December 13, 2018

Category: Academics, Music, Students

co-destinystone2.pngCatawba College is ranked number 3 among the Top Colleges for Music Majors in North Carolina and is one of only three private colleges included in this top ten list created by Zippia, a website dedicated to helping people find and pursue the right career.

Zippia rankings are determined in part by the percentage of students in the graduating class who are music majors; the larger the number of music graduates, the better.  In 2018, Catawba awarded 357 undergraduate degrees and 26 of those went to music majors. That gave Catawba the highest percentage of music majors in its graduating class of any of the institutions making the 2018 N.C. rankings list, including UNC Chapel Hill which came in at the #1 position with only 35 music majors in its graduating class of 4,835. To view the N.C. rankings, visit

Singer/songwriter Destiny Stone of Mississippi, a Popular Music major, Worship Arts minor, and honors student, completed coursework for her undergraduate degree from Catawba in December 2018. She explained her undergraduate musical journey like this: “Catawba has helped me further my music career and given me the tools and surrounded me with people to get the most out of these four years.  Catawba is not for everyone. I will be the first one to tell you. But Catawba is for you if you don’t want to feel lost or unheard.  Catawba is for you if you want to learn more about yourself.  Catawba is for you if you want to become the best that you can be.”

Visit Destiny’s website to hear her real-world-ready musical voice at

yungcitizen17.jpgAnother Catawba alumnus, Chris Williams (aka YUNG Citizen), who majored in Music Business and graduated in 2012, credits his undergraduate preparation for his success in the music industry. 

“Catawba College was nothing but wonderful to me. I had the best time of my life as a Music major, specifically in Music Business,” Williams shared.  “The faculty prepared us mentally for the real world when it came to the music industry. The music industry is very cutthroat and you have to have a ‘hustle mentality’ and Dr. David Fish (the founder of Catawba’s Popular Music program at the college) was able to teach us that.

“Since then, I've had that mentality and I’ve had numerous of performances, performances at SXSW Music Festival, and I've had major production placements with major artists. But none of that would have happened if Dr. Fish wouldn't have taught us that mentality. I've learned that success is 80% mental and 20% talent.

“Dr. Fish taught us that anything possible as long as you do not give up. I can't thank Catawba College enough for their guidance. And I can't forget the Music professors there who taught Music Theory, Music History and Aural Skills. I am able to find any song in the key it is in.”

Follow Williams as YUNG Citizen at or

To identify the Best Music Schools, Zippia looked at data on how schools perform and compared them to one another. The site reviewed the following data from the NCES (National Center For Education Statistics) and College Scorecard data from to understand what Music departments offer the best career opportunities:

  • Career Results
    • Mean Earnings After 6 Years
    • Mean Earnings After 10 Years
    • Ratio of people working to not working after 10 years
  • Music Emphasis
    • Percentage of Graduating Class That Are Music Majors (Larger the better)
  • School Performanceco-music10.png
    • Admissions Rate (More selective the better)
    • Graduation Rate
    • Average Cost Of Attendance (Lower is better)
    • Median amount of debt

With this data in hand, Zippia looked at the institutions of higher learning with Music Majors in each state and ranked schools for each of the criteria above with '1' being the best in any given criteria. The school with the best score for each of the criteria on Zippia’s Music Quality Index earned the distinction of being the Best College for Music Majors in each state.


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