I'm confused as to what the advantages are for skipping a masters degree and going straight in a phd program? Is it shorter? Or do schools not normally cover your masters degree? I would like to complete a masters first but not if it'll turn out to be significantly longer or if I'll need to pay all of the tuition myself. I noticed on UMN's site they stated that student's in a masters program receive no help with tuition so I was wondering if this is typical everywhere.