ucthesis LaTeX style

ucthesis LaTeX class

This is the README file for the UCTHESIS class for LaTeX. It corresponds to version 3.1 of the UCTHESIS class (14 July 2001).

NOTE: v3.0 is the first LaTeX2e version of UCTHESIS. It is now a class that runs in native LaTeX2e mode. It is functionally identical to UCTHESIS.STY v2.7 released on 30 October 1994 by Ethan V. Munson. Other than changes for compatibility (mostly having to do with font selection), and option selection, very little modification has been done to the style. As a result, there are probably cleaner ways to implement a number of features. That will have to wait for the next release. (BBF 10/31/94)

Using the UCTHESIS class

Sample File

There is a sample dissertation (by the fictitious, but very irritating, Perry H Disdainful) in the file uctest.tex. It also uses uctest.bib as its bibliography database (though the contents of the database are not important). Mostly this is useful as an example of how to produce the front matter. If you don’t understand LaTeX at all, this file might help you get started, but, since you’re going to be writing a 100+ page document, you should invest the $20 in a copy of the LaTeX manual (by Leslie Lamport the original author of LaTeX). This has recently been updated for LaTeX2e.

The LaTeX Companion, by Goossens, Mittelbach, and Samarin (who have been involved in developping and supporting the new version of LaTeX) is also quite good. It gives a lot of useful information if you are going to be writing or modifying classes, and gives a lot of additional information on commonly available style packages. It’s about $35.

Choosing the UCTHESIS class

To use the UCTHESIS class, make sure that the ucthesis.cls file is on your TEXINPUTS search path and use the following command at the start of your input file:


What the UCTHESIS class does

The UCTHESIS class is a port of the UCTHESIS style version 2.7 (the final 2.09 release) to LaTeX2e. The UCTHESIS style is a modified version of the standard LaTeX REPORT style that is accepted for use with University of California PhD dissertations and Masters theses. The available commands are almost identical to those of the REPORT style, so your best starting point for documentation is the LaTeX manual written by Leslie Lamport.

The key features of the class are:

  1. The primary modification to the REPORT style is the use of pseudo-double-spacing, since the UC system’s rules are still designed for typewriters. This is achieved by increasing the baselinestretch parameter to 1.37. The baselinestretch is returned to a single-spaced value of 1.00 for elements like tables, captions, and footnotes and for all displayed text (quote, quotation, and verse environments). Unfortunately, this is done with a macro called ssp which resets the font size to normalsize. In LaTeX 2.09 this seems to be unavoidable, but it makes it very hard to create tables in different font sizes.

  2. Margins are 1.5 inches on the left, 1.0 inches elsewhere.

  3. 3) Uses 11 point by default; you can use the 10pt or 12pt options for those sizes.

  4. Page numbers are in the top right corner for all pages.

  5. Complete, correct front matter for UC dissertations can be generated. If you are not a UC student, you should make sure that the front matter is OK with your school.


There are five primary options:

The “draft” style uses single-spacing throughout the document.

The “final” style uses the correct pseudo-double-spacing. This option is the default and is redundant, but is included for symmetry.

The “10pt”, “11pt”, and “12pt” styles set the default font size to the obvious value. The “11pt” option is the default and thus is redundant, but is safe to use anyway.

The options are selected on the documentclass line, e.g.:


Page Headers

If you want to use page headers or footers other than the default ones, you should try using “headerfooter.sty” or “fancyheadings.sty”. The myheadings pagestyle doesn’t work well and there is no workaround. The headerfooter and fancyheadings styles are widely distributed, well documented, and easy to use.

Front matter

The other key service provided by this class is that it generates correct front matter (title page, approval page, abstract, etc.) with a failrly simple set of commands. This facility could be a little easier, but compared to an earlier state of affairs, it’s pretty slick. The format of the front matter is specified quite explicitly in the document “Guidelines for Submitting a Doctoral Dissertation or Master’s Thesis” distributed by the UC Berkeley Graduate Division. The current version of the class is based on the 2001 version of this document.

A complete example of the use of the front matter commands can be found in the sample dissertation distributed with the class.


To use the front matter macros and environments, you must first declare a number of text strings:

title           Dissertation title author          Your name as registered with UC (usually w/ full middle name) degreeyear      Year your dissertation will be granted degreesemester  Semester (or quarter) your dissertation will be granted degree          The title of your degree (e.g. Doctor of Philosophy) chair           Title and name of your committee chair (e.g. "Professor Michael A. Harrison") othermembers    The names of the other members of your committee separated by linebreaks (e.g. "Professor Susan L. Graham\Professor Jim Pitman) numberofmembers The number of members on your committee.  This defaults to 3 (and thus is optional) and can be any value between 3 and 6.  It affects the number of lines on the approval page and the space between them. prevdegrees     Your previous degrees:                 "B.A. (University of California, San Diego) 1978\\                 B.A. (University of California, San Diego) 1986\\                 M.S. (University of California, Berkeley) 1989" field           The official title of your field.  This is usually your department's name, but at Berkeley, most Engineering degrees have a more complex name.  Be sure to check the guidelines for any special twists on the name of your field. campus          The name of your UC campus.  This should be capitalized. (e.g. Berkeley) 

Abstract Environment

Because you have to provide the text of the abstract, only the title can be generated automatically. So, there is an abstract environment. It generates the title and numbers the abstract in arabic numerals and makes sure that it starts on new page.

The UC system requires that your advisor sign the last page of your abstract. Many students just let their advisor just sign at a random location on the page, but you can use the abstractsignature command to generate a signature line with your advisor’s name printed below it. This command generates the signature line at the point it is invoked, so it should be placed at the end of the abstract.

Other Front Matter

The remaining front matter (dedication, table of contents, lists of figures and tables, acknowledgements) MUST be put inside the “frontmatter” environment, which ensures that page-numbering is handled properly. Within this frontmatter environment, you put the environments and commands for the rest of the front matter. There are environments for “dedication” and “acknowledgements” and the standard LaTeX commands for producing tableofcontents, listoffigures, and listoftables.

The standard LaTeX commands are well documented in the LaTeX manual. You will probably have to hand edit the .lof (list of figures) and .lot (list of tables) files to make verbose captions more suitable for this front matter. Once you do this, remember to use the nofiles macro to keep them from getting overwritten.

The acknowledgements and dedication environments make their contents start on a new page. The acknowledgements environment also put the word “Acknowledgements” in large, bold, centered text at the top of the page. For formatting the dedication page, you’re on your own. After all, the dedication is a kind of poetry and there’s no predicting the right way to format poetry.

Other commands not found in the standard report style

The “smalltabular” and “smalltabular*” environments are equivalent to the “tabular” and “tabular*” environments, except that they use the small font. The “scriptsizetabular” and “scriptsizetabular*” use the scriptsize font.

Installing the UCTHESIS class

To install the UCTHESIS class, you need to install four files:

ucthesis.cls uct10.clo uct11.clo uct12.clo

in your LaTeX class file repository.