shouravv wrote:AB or BA or BS in the US is kind of equivalent to MS in most of Europe.
This is not at all what I've heard. From what I've read and been told, most European schools do not require as many "general education" classes in college and students spend more time taking core physics classes. Consequently, incoming international grad students usually have already had the equivalent of first year graduate classes and are typically a fair bit ahead of their American peers.
I am from an European country. I don't want to specify which, but we have the Bologna process. We study three years for Bachelor's degree and two years for Master's. We indeed have very few mandatory true general education classes such as history or literature. It is possible to have for about 10% of your courses whatever you want. Some study things like economy, other popular choices include programming, computational methods, languages and more physics.
I think we have quite a heavy mandatory math load for physics students, for example half a year of PDE's during our second year. For the physics materials some examples includes statistical physics during the third year, Fetter's & Walecka's Theoretical Mechanics during the second year and Griffith's QM and EM during the the second and third year, respectively.
For Master's level physics courses we seem to have more width than depth, concentrating on the tools of real (non-theoretical) physics research, which means either some special subject such as nanomaterials or optics, or computational and/or experimental courses. Of course we have the obvious advanced QM, advanced EM, advanced Stat. Phys., etc courses mandatory.
One aspect I really like is that you get training for writing theses. You are required to write a (approximately) 20-page thesis for Bachelor's Degree, usually done after a summer research project, and two 20-page long theses and one maybe 60-page thesis for Master's degree. The page amounts are a stupid measure of the work required, but I couldn't come up with a better one.
I'm not sure how long it usually takes to complete the Doctoral degree, but it's something like four to six years. You have about one year's worth of courses, the rest is research and the thesis. To my knowledge all the students in physics are funded.
I should add that we have a dual system similar to France's. The ones of the type I'm attending to are more difficult to get into and the dropout rate is greater, but we are slightly favored by employers.