Thank you all for your great insightful replies. I really appreciate it!
There has been a question a couple of times as to whether Oregon is my home state. I actually went to high school in southern California, and my parents still live there so my residence is actually California if that helps.
I’m starting to put together a timeline in my head in terms of my course of action. I think the general consensus among us is that post-bac is the first step so that I may get the more general prerequisites done like physics and math.
Then, I’m gathering that there is some research to be done directly with schools to see whether their specific program fits my desires in EE.
To get more specific for any engineers that might stumble upon the thread, I’m pretty familiar with IoT and Arduino/MBed, and am currently exploring bare-metal programming to avoid all of the extra overhead software that I may not need for a project. I’m also beginning to self-teach FPGA design and programming, as one of the more appealing parts of EE to me is custom, task-specific hardware that runs extremely fast. I adopt the mindset of integrating software and hardware directly to promote speed and ease of use. Any and all recommendations of programs that specialize in this would be greatly appreciated. My end goal, if wishes were fishes so to speak, would be to develop products using either off-the-shelf, or in a perfect world, custom silicon. I figure with the architecture background, I would have a more end-user experience perspective that would then help with the hardware development. I really do enjoy the nitty-gritty of chip design and have a lot of programming experience relative to my major. But being able to bridge the gap between the designers and what would be my engineering team sounds really engaging and appealing.
At this point, I feel as if post-bac → masters is the way to go, but I share the observation of @momprof9904 in that there are too many fundamental UG courses in EE for me to be prepared enough for a masters. I also know very little about how masters programs work in engineering, and would love some more insight there. If I were to find a program that aligns with my end goals of chip design and hardware integration, I suppose it would be a conversation with the school as to whether they could accommodate my more unusual background, and therefore requiring more post-bac courses than most students looking for a masters in EE. I came into this discussion figuring that the amount of pre-requisites I would need, being that my school has no engineering, would mean that I would need a second undergraduate, not a masters. But, if this is not the case and I could do what I need in a post-bac setting, then that would probably be more ideal.
I should admit that my connections at Apple and QUALCOMM suggested that either a masters or a second undergraduate would be fine as long as my personal projects represented more of what I was interested in, specifically. I understand that these companies represent the top of the field, but dream big, right?