I always wanted to be an architect, since I was 10/12 year old. I recently bought your book "Becoming an Architect", which is helping me a lot. But I still have some concerns about the path that I need to take to become an architect. I hope that I'm not bothering you with so many questions but I hope that you can help me.
I have a bachelor degree in Economics that I was awarded in my country Brazil. Even though I am 41 years old, I really want to pursue this career. I now live in New York City and I'm thinking of applying to The City College of New York. I am just not sure if I should apply for the Bachelor's degree or for the Master degree program. I think I can learn more if I pursue the bachelor's degree, but it will take longer and my classmates would be much younger than me, which could be a little uncomfortable to me. On the other hand, if I pursue for the master's degree, I'm worried that it can be difficult because I have a very different degree (Economics). What's your opinion? Do you think I should start with a Associate degree in Interior Design (2 years) and then go to the Master Architecture (3 years)? Or should I go straight to the Masters degree? If the MArch is the best, should I take freehand drawing (or technical drawing) and math (or physics) classes prior to starting the Master?
Finally, although I'm a legal U.S. resident, do I have to take the TOEFL anyway, as English is not my first language?
Given that you have an undergraduate degree, albeit in Economics, you should consider pursuing the Master of Architecture (3-4 years). These particular degrees are targeted and designed for individuals with degrees in other disciplines. Most of all, simply make sure the degree is accredited by NAAB; this will ensure that you can later obtain licensure.
As for courses prior, consult the architecture program. Many do require freehand drawing in addition to either or both calculus and physics. The freehand drawing course will assist you in creating materials for your portfolio.
As for the TOEFL, again, check with the institution. Most will require candidates to take the TOEFL if their undergraduate degree is from a foreign country.