I have a question on applying to PhD programs. If an MS student who received good grades in graduate school applies to a PhD program, how easy is it to get in versus applying straight to a PhD program after getting a BS? If an MS student passes the PhD qualifying exam, does this guarantee admission into a PhD program, or is there still some subjective competition involved? I'm asking because I recently graduated college, and I've applied to both MS and PhD programs. I've been admitted into an MS program so far (which has some great research opportunities), which is why I'm starting to think about this. Anyway, I'd appreciate comments from anyone who has experience here. Thanks.