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applying for a PhD, getting into a masters program

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I couldn't find the proper place on the forums to put this question, and it is stats related, so I put it here.

I am applying to a couple of PhD programs but for many, many reasons I'm not confident that I will be accepted as a PhD student. I was reading (on the gradcafe forums) that some schools may reject a PhD applicant but consider them for a Master's degree rather than a PhD program. Has that been the case for anyone on these forums?

While my end goal is to get a PhD, I can see how starting off with a Master's degree might be the best option for me at this time, and I am completely open to getting a Master's first. I am curious as to what is the best way to communicate that to the AdComms and at what point in the application cycle. Do I contact the graduate secretary? Put it in the statement of purpose? Hope that someone on the committee thinks, "I would like to see how she does in a Master's program first"? I want to tell them that I would be interested in a Masters program without seeming unconfident.

Any advice is super appreciated!


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The most direct way is to contact the administrator in charge of admissions and let them know that you would like to be considered for Masters admission if your PhD app is unsuccessful.

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