Doctoral candidates must complete 72 semester hours of graduate study (approximately 48 hours of which is course work in the Department). Candidates must complete at least one year of formal course work (24 semester hours) in residence at Vanderbilt (the semester hours not in formal course work consist of research hours). Students may take courses outside the Department of Economics as part of the 72 hours required for the degree if permitted by the Director of Graduate Studies and approved by the Graduate School. Students must pass written examinations in microeconomic and in macroeconomic theory, complete at least two fields, pass an oral qualifying examination, and demonstrate scholarship in a dissertation. The program can be completed in four years, but five years is the norm.