Several CS graduate programs in the US have a checkbox stating something along the lines of "Would you like to be considered for MS if not accepted for PhD?" in their applications. I'm curious as to how this process works in general. Some specific questions that I also have:
Do both committees (MS and PhD) review the application individually in parallel?
Is there a lower chance of being accepted to the MS through this way as opposed to applying directly to the MS program?
How can a single statement of purpose (and letters given by recommenders) state the purpose of attending MS, if the application is for PhD? To rephrase, how would an applicant state in the SoP that they would be willing to go for MS, without killing the application for PhD?