With the amount of Graduate courses I currently plan on taking (I'm a second year undergrad), adding a couple of more will fulfill the requirements of an MA in Physics at my school. So if I plan things out properly and stick to the plan, I'd be able to get bachelor degrees in Math and Physics, along with a Masters in Physics, all by the end of my 4th year (4.5 years max). My question is, does doing the masters degree offer me a significant advantage? It definitely seems to me like a good option, but I don't know how graduate schools would view it. Here's what I wanna know in particular: Would they consider my application in the same pile as a regular undergrad with only a bachelors? Why or why not is it preferable to just taking graduate courses for undergrad credit? With a masters, will I have to do the graduate courses at the place of my PhD program again, or would I be able to go straight to research?