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

39 Responses to “A LaTeX template for UCI dissertations”

  1. […] figure labels, citations, table of contents, and bibliography. Even better still, thanks to a couple of people, I have access to a University of California Irvine LaTeX thesis […]

  2. CF says:

    Thanks for making your template available online! I just had a suggestion: long chapter titles appear as one line in the table of contents, and in your readme you suggested using a shorter caption. I looked online, and found a way to break up lines in the table of contents: use the “breaklinks” option for the hyperref package. Since you already have a line for the hyperref package, this becomes:
    \usepackage[plainpages=false, breaklinks=true]{hyperref}

  3. Trevor says:

    CF, I’m not seeing any problems with long chapter titles. LaTeX simply wraps them, so I don’t think the breaklinks option is applicable in this case. The problem I was referring to in the readme was regarding long figure and table captions, not chapter titles. If you tend to get wordy with your captions, the list of tables and figures gets messy. The alternate short caption was simply a workaround for this. I’ve reworded the readme to clarify this point.

  4. CF says:

    I had a problem with my chapter titles (which are titles of papers in my case) not being wrapped in the table of contents, so I found the breaklinks option useful. Haven’t had any problems with tables and figures – no long titles there. 🙂 Thanks again!

  5. Brett says:

    I see you’re getting out of here, congrats! You may have heard this from the archivist yourself, but generally there’s supposed to be a “Page” above the listing of pages in the TOC, LOF and LOT. Whoever may be taking care of this template (which is great, by the way!) may want to add:

    \addtocontents{toc}{\protect\raggedleft Page\\}
    \addtocontents{lof}{\protect\raggedleft Page\\}
    \addtocontents{lot}{\protect\raggedleft Page\\}

    in the appropriate places.

  6. Trevor says:

    Brett, thanks for catching that. Personally I think the column title is redundant information—it’s obvious that the numbers are page numbers. But since the official manual has it, then the template should, too. I’ve uploaded a new version of the template that includes your fix.

  7. Pablo says:

    Thanks! Great job! I have one question, though. Is it expected that the page counters reset to 0 at the beginning of each chapter? It doesn’t seem right, since the TOC indexes each chapter page number equal to the number of pages in the previous chapter. I wonder if this is just something wrong with my LaTeX setup.

  8. Trevor says:

    Pablo, I haven’t seen a problem with page counters being reset. The numbers continue to increment on each page as expected, regardless of chapter divisions.

  9. Pablo says:

    This is weird. I had some chapter titles that spanned over one line each. When I shortened them, the page counter problem went away. Perhaps it’s a bug elsewhere in LaTeX or TeX? Too bad Knuth has stopped mailing his checks.

  10. Pablo says:

    I meant the chapter titles were longer than one line in the ToC. Many titles are still longer than one line in the chapter headings, and I don’t see a problem.

  11. Mason says:

    Thanks a lot for the latex template, really helpful!

  12. Matt says:

    Thanks a lot for making this template available. Very helpful!

  13. MKL says:

    Is the page over-running problem mentioned in the readme file a problem of this particular class file or of the LaTeX system? With this class file (11/2008 version), the line runs over towards the page number but never overlaps the page number; that is, it eats into the space separating the caption and the page number.

  14. Trevor says:

    The note in the readme file is just a reminder for people like me who tend to write long captions. Usually they just want a short description of the figure to appear in the List of Figures, not the several detailed sentences written for the caption. But that’s exactly what will happen if there’s a long caption inside the curly braces. Solving this problem is simply a matter of adding a shorter version of the caption inside square brackets. I’ve rewritten the readme file to clarify this point.

  15. MKL says:

    There are situations that a caption cannot be shortened. That’s why I am interested in knowing whether this is a class-file-spefific or a general LaTeX problem. I may be interested in finding a solution. If the latter, then I won’t need to waste my time.

  16. Alex says:

    There is a bug where in TOC page for Bibliography is incorrect. Adding \cleardoublepage to the cls file before \addcontentsline{toc}{chapter}{Bibliography} seems to fix it. Although when viewing the PDF it still doesn’t jump to Bibliography, but at least correct page appears in TOC.

  17. Alex says:

    Actually this works better:

    It adds the right page number in TOC for Bibliography, and when pdf is viewed and Bibliography is clicked it jumps to a correct page.

  18. Trevor says:

    Thanks for finding that, Alex. I’ve updated the distribution to include your suggestion. If only I had known about this last week, before I submitted my dissertation!

  19. David says:

    Thanks a lot for posting and maintaining this template!

  20. Sunny says:

    This is great, thank you.

  21. Jayram says:


    I am trying to import the latex file within lyx. But unable to go far in this process.

    I did the things suggested in http://wiki.lyx.org/Layouts/CreatingLayouts.

    (1) First created a directory ucithesis in /usr/share/texmf/tex/latex/. Copied ucithesis.cls file in that directory

    (2) I created a file called ucithesis.layout in ~/.lyx/layout

    (3) executed
    sudo texhash

    (4) Import ucithesis.tex file into lyx. But lyx failed to successfully load the file and generate the required report

    • Trevor says:

      I tested the ucithesis class with LyX 1.6.5, and it seems to work fine. Note that the class derives from report, not article, so your layout file should look like this:

      #% Do not delete the line below; configure depends on this
      # \DeclareLaTeXClass[ucithesis]{UCI Thesis}

      # Read the definitions from report.layout
      Input report.layout

      After reconfiguring LyX and restarting, “UCI Thesis” appears in Document > Settings > Document Class. I was also able to import the sample thesis.tex file into LyX, which generated a DVI that looks as it should.

  22. eUrwin says:

    I am trying to do the same thing – but on a windows machine. What is the equivalent of executing sudo texhash?

    I have made the layout file and put it with the other layout files
    I created a directory called ucithesis where the other directories that hold .cls and .sty files are and put ucithesis.cls inside it but when I reconfigure it takes forevor and LyX becomes unresponsive. Any thoughts?

    • Trevor says:

      Can’t really help you, since I use neither LyX nor Windows. I did try to install it on a Windows machine, but the MiKTeX setup kept crashing.

      As for the equivalent of “sudo texhash”, I would try just “texhash”. This assumes that texhash is in your PATH.

  23. Chris says:

    I’m trying to remove my appendix figures from the lof page as per the manual but can’t figure out how to do it. Any help?

    • Trevor says:

      Funny, somehow I missed that requirement. My dissertation’s list of figures had everything from the appendices, yet it managed to get through the vetting process without any complaints. But Section 2.2.1 of the manual does indeed say not to include anything from the appendices in the LOF. One way of accomplishing this is to use the caption package, as described by Tom’s LaTeX Matters blog.

  24. Soli says:

    Thank you for the template, I can’t believe UCI has not provided us with a temple and support.

    I have q question, my bibliography does not appear in the Table of content. I use \begin{bibliography}…\bibitem…. \end{bibliography}

    do you have any clue why?

    also …some part of my text, the lines look not aligned? any suggestions?

    • Trevor says:

      Not sure about the bibliography. It appears in my TOC, but I use the \bibliography command with an external .bib file. Do you have the same problem with other document classes, or only the ucithesis one?

      For the text alignment problem, you didn’t provide enough information for me to help you.

  25. Mark says:

    Thanks for the template! I have a question. I just downloaded, and I’m trying to typeset it (without any changes), and I get the following errors. First error:

    LaTeX Warning: You have requested, on input line 703, version
    `2009/04/10′ of package pdftexcmds,
    but only version
    `2007/12/12 v0.3 LuaTeX support for pdfTeX utility functions (HO)’
    is available.

    Second error:

    LaTeX Warning: You have requested, on input line 3566, version
    `2009/07/21′ of package kvoptions,
    but only version
    `2007/10/18 v3.0 Keyval support for LaTeX options (HO)’
    is available.

    I have no idea what this means. Any help you can give is appreciated.

  26. Trevor says:

    I can’t tell what it means without seeing the input file. But it looks like something may be wrong with your LuaTeX installation. Can you try a standard install of LaTeX?

  27. Sena says:


    I have never used LaTeX but a random search seemed to lead me to a word doc UCI template for both the dissertation and master thesis. I haven’t had the chance to check if their template actually follows their guidelines but I imagine it does and that it is a recent addition.

    It’s at the top of this link:


  28. Vinh Nguyen says:

    I’ve been writing my thesis the last two years using this class. I am about to file in the upcoming week. Thank you so much for it.

    As I’m submitting the thesis as a softcopy, the signature page is not required. To remove it, I modified the class file and removed the “\signaturepage” line. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR PROVIDING THIS CLASS!

  29. Ronen Vaisenberg says:

    Hi Trevor,

    Thanks this is very helpful.
    Just wanted to comment that I was asked (by special collections and archives) to include only a single copyright page, either
    1) \copyrightpage
    2) \prepublishedcopyrightpage

    not both.
    I’ve commented out the \copyrightpage command in the \preliminarypages command to address this. Best if the cls file would check if one was defined and not use the other.

    Thanks again!

  30. Tommy says:

    Thank you very much for the class. It was invaluable to me during my, finally over, writing process. It would be great if you included an option for a list of symbols. I ended up using the nomencl package to get it going, but it took some serious fine tuning to get it to look right. But that was only a few hours of work compared to the eons you saved me with your class.

    THANK YOU!!!

  31. Lars says:

    Thanks a lot for the template!

    Just wanted to point out that, as of Fall 2012, special collections requires 1 inch margin all around, an easy change in line 26 of ucithesis.cls.

    Additionaly, at least for filing electronically, one should leave out the signature page. I did that by commenting out the \signaturepage command inside \preliminarypages (around line 200 in the cls).

    Again, thanks a lot for the template.

  32. Lars says:

    After revising the template and reorganizing a bit, I ended up putting it online myself: http://github.com/lotten/uci-thesis-latex

    This incorporates all revisions people have posted on here in the past and, as of Fall 2012, should meet Special Collections requirements. I also intend to keep this up-to-date going forward, hopefully made easy by GitHub’s collaborative features (so others can contribute).

    I hope you don’t mind, Trevor — you are given full credit on the site.

  33. Thao says:

    Hi Trevor,
    Thanks so much for putting this together.
    I just want to ask quick question regarding the Bibliography section. In your example, each reference will be numbered. I wonder how to remove those numeric in front and still have the references in order. I’d really appreciate if you (or anyone) can offer some tips.
    Again, thanks a lot for the template!

  34. Claire says:

    Thanks for creating this! I had to make one change to get my CV to show up in the typeset version. In line 241 of the ucithesis.cls file I had to change it to

    Hope this helps anyone else who couldn’t get their CV to show up in the typset version!

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