I've heard that often in the sciences(in my case, physics), that students often go straight from their undergraduate degree to a Phd. I've a also heard that this saves some time and money as you basically earn a masters as you go while being funded. Now at my school there is an accelerated master's program that allows you to finish your master's in just one additional year. My question is, would finishing an accelerated master's program and then completing a Phd be quicker than just going straight from undergrad to the doctorate program? I'm sure it would cost more, but I put more of a premium on my time than money. Also, isn't a safer bet to get a master's? I don't plan on flunking out of a physics Phd, but there is always that doubt of whether I am competent enough to complete one. Not to mention any number of life issues could arise.