Thank you so much for your very helpful response! I have been poking around those websites and have been learning a lot. I reached out to UC Berkely to learn more about their program so I am sure it will help clarify some questions in general.
Just one quick question I'd like your opinion on: Would you recommend focusing on programs through universities or art schools?
Thanks so much!
Becoming an Architect, Chapter 2 - Education talks about criteria to consider when selecting a program -- they include the following:
Type of School (as you mention)
Public vs. Private
Thus, do not focus on a single criteria but find the best program for you.