My understanding is that for most US PhDs:
- applicants are expected a bachelor's but not a master's
- applicants are required a statement of purpose but not a research proposal
- applicants apply to school before choosing doctoral adviser
- first year or two is coursework followed by exams then finally dissertation
while for most European PhDs:
- applicants are expected a master's (and has to be a research master's and not a taught master's?)
- applicants are required a research proposal
- applicants choose doctoral advisor before applying to school
- almost no coursework
- What countries or states outside Europe and aside from the US are like the US?
- Which are like Europe?
- Which are in between Europe and the US?
For example, PhDs in Country A seem to be somewhere in the middle:
- most PhDs require master's but...
- ...may waive the requirement if the applicant has bachelor's with honors (or bachelor's without honors but in an honors course or something like that)
- some universities require research proposals (and choosing a doctoral advisor first) for PhDs in certain fields but only statement of purpose* in other fields in the same university
- some universities require research proposals (and choosing a doctoral advisor first) for PhDs in certain fields but other universities require only statement of purpose* for the same field
*or something which in my opinion is closer to a statement of purpose than a research proposal