I knew at an early age that architecture was the career for me. (However, things didn't go as they should have and now I'm currently going into my second year of college at a small liberal arts school.) Since I must officially decide on a major this year, I am just wondering if you have any advice on the best path to take for someone who knows for a fact that they want to become an architect but goes to a college that doesn't offer it.
Should I stay here or try to transfer? I like my school but I'm scared I'm just wasting money. The one possible plan I have would be to major in art history (because it is the only other thing that interests me, and it has some architectural history) and maybe minor in art, then study abroad next year and take some architecture classes, maybe do a summer program, amass a portfolio, then eventually apply for the M.Arch after college. This isn't out of the ordinary or looked down upon in any way, right? Is there anything else that I could be doing?
Your decision will depend on how quickly you wish to directly pursue architecture. As you are only a second year student, you may be able to easily transfer to an architecture program at some institutions but you should contact potential programs now for what courses are important -- possibly calculus, physics, drawing, etc.
But if you enjoy your institution, you would not be wasting your money; it is simply a different path to the same end goal - architect. Individuals pursuing an undergraduate in another discipline with the MArch is quite common and would not be looked down upon by employers. In fact, some employers prefer this route because graduates are more mature and have a different perspective.
As you suggest, you should seek experiences that will help you transition to architecture -- drawing, study abroad, etc.
To research programs visit -- www.naab.org -- and -- www.archschools.org --. Also, you may wish to obtain Becoming an Architect: A Guide to Careers in Design.