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Option to apply for terminal masters when filling out PhD app


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At several of the universities I'm applying to they give you the option of also being considered for their terminal masters program if you are not accepted into their PhD program. Of course I'd like to do this since it's a potential safety net that will still allow me to continue my schooling in the off chance that I'm accepted into any PhD program (praying that doesn't happen lol). However, the schools ask that you attach a smaller statement of purpose explaining why you'd want to do the masters program.

So, my question is, will admissions see that I also want to be considered for the MA and think "ah, well see she just applied to both because she's afraid she won't get in at all" and then they will take my PhD application less seriously by default? Probably a silly question but as the application season heats up, my mind travels to these pessimistic realms quite often now. 

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I very much doubt it. Adcoms are very aware of how much pressure there is for potential graduate school applicants and that doing the masters program (especially if you don't have one in hand) will be a safety for you.

Think about it this way: the adcom sees your admission as a $300k+ investment in you by the school. The only thing that would dissuade them from making that investment is an indication that your work will not pan out. That decision is not going to be made based on your saying you would consider the MA program on its own.

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