I am currently a student at a university that does not offer architecture, going into my third year of undergrad. I've never declared a major, because up until now I've never found what I felt was the right field for me.
I recently completed my first architecture course at another university (a mix of lecture and studio, meant to give a good background into what arch school would be like), and I am 150% sure this is what I want to do with my life. I've never felt so attached to any one profession as I do architecture!
Now I am left with a small dillema...it seems that the only way you can complete an undergraduate degree in architecture in a reasonable amount of time is if you knew that was what you wanted to do the minute you stepped into the university. I have over 60 credits at my current institution that would do me no good if I were to transfer into another university to begin studying architecture....not to mention that it would take me another 3-4 years to graduate with a bachelors degree.
I spoke with the dean of the school of architecture in which I am interested in attending, and he layed out my options. Basically, if I were to consider transferring into this other university to finish my undergrad in architecture, I'd be looking at at least another 3-4 years until I graduated. Because I have not taken any of the pre-requisite math/physics/arch courses, I would have to wait until Fall 2006 to submit my portfolio for admission into the program. From there I would have to complete two years of studio, and then I would be up for graduation.
My alternative option is to complete a degree at my current university in something else, and go into the 3.5 year masters program in architecture for students who have bachelors degrees in another area. As much as I don't like the idea of being away from architecture for that long, I think this is a more reasonable option for me, because then I would be getting a bachelors degree in another two years instead of another 3-4 years.
The major issue now is, what do I major in if I can't major in architecture? I want to make sure that whatever I major in at my university will be practical and useable on it's own when I graduate...there are no garuntees that I will be accepted into arch school, so I don't want to be left with a diploma that I can't realistically use. At the same time, I want to make sure I pick something that will look good to the arch grad school, and that will help me to build a strong portfolio at the same time. There's always visual arts...but will that be valuable to me after I graduate? I've heard so many stories of "starving artists"...and I would prefer not to be one of them.
Has anyone else ever had this issue before? I was surprised and at the same time somewhat reassured when I took this class over the summer and met some older students, who were coming back from other careers to study architecture, saying that they had wanted to be an architecture before but never pursued it, and it was something that they regretted. It feels good to know that even though it may not be the most practical thing for me to pursue at this point, time and money-wise, I am doing what I want to do and I know I won't regret it later.
Is anyone in an arch masters program with a bachelors degree in another area? If so, what is your other degree in? Did you know when you were completing your other degree that you wanted to study architecture?
I am glad to have found this forum. I feel like I am standing on the edge of the river, staring at the other bank, but not knowing how to build the bridge to cross to the other side. Any words of advice?