Entries from January 2008 ↓

A LaTeX template for UCI dissertations

Like most universities, UCI has a strict set of rules for formatting and typesetting doctoral dissertations. The rules fall into the usual categories of margin, typeface, and layout guidelines, as well as some unique requirements for copyright declarations, the signature page, a curriculum vitae, and so on. A complete list is provided in the UCI Thesis and Dissertation Manual.

With so many requirements in this 43-page manual, starting out on the first draft of a dissertation can be rather daunting for Ph.D. students, especially since improper formatting could get the manuscript rejected by the University Archives. A word processor template would virtually eliminate this problem, but according to the AGS website, UCI provides no officially-sanctioned template for dissertations. Each student must format their manuscript from scratch, leading to duplicated effort and wasted time.

A few enterprising students have responded to this problem by creating unofficial UCI dissertation templates. They are designed specifically for LaTeX, a document preparation system favored by EECS and ICS grad students for its extensive support for mathematical equations, high-quality typesetting, and similarity to a computer programming language. By starting off with such a template as the foundation, writing a UCI dissertation essentially becomes a fill-in-the-blank process as LaTeX takes care of the table of contents, list of figures, and other formatting details automatically.

Xianping Ge created the first such template in 2002. It was later refined by Jeffery von Ronne and is now available on Vivek Haldar’s blog. Working separately, I started with Xianping’s original template and made my own set of clean-ups and enhancements with help from Mark Panahi. It improves upon Jeffrey’s version by adding a CV template, extensive comments to help the Ph.D. student fill-in and customize the template, and various minor fixes. In addition, I reviewed every aspect of the template to make sure that its output conforms to the Dissertation Manual as closely as possible.

The template can be downloaded by following the link below, which leads to a ZIP file containing the template, its LaTeX class file, a makefile for generating a PDF of the dissertation, a sample bibliography, and a “readme” file with more details on how to use the template. The link will be updated as new versions of the template become available.

LaTeX template for UCI dissertations
Last updated: March 23, 2009