Would someone be so kind as to enlighten me here? My wife and I were discussing grad school application deadlines (which are still a way off, but it's fun to daydream) and she commented on how early they were at most of the schools we were just glancing at. January 31st was a common date, or something around there, for Fall admission. My confusion arises from this: if I am completing my final Senior semester in the Spring of '10, for example, does that mean I cannot apply for admission to the Fall '10 semester? Or is there a tacit understanding that, if accepted, such acceptance is contingent upon successful completion of the remaining coursework? (But that doesn't make sense, because then they couldn't really have an accurate GPA.) Also, I'm a bit confused about the distinction between a Master's program and a PhD. program. When I was younger I always thought that one acquired a Bachelor's degree first, and, if one was so inclined, then a Master's degree. Then, if still inclined, one could pursue a PhD. More recently, I came under the impression that the two are generally distinct programs, though there may be overlap as far as some of the coursework is concerned, and that the PhD. program does not require a Master's degree. As I said, if someone would be so kind as to help clarify these questions for me I would be much appreciative.