Formatting Thesis according to UNC Thesis Guideline using Latex 

Introduction || Getting Started || FAQ || Acknowledgement

What's new


The graduate school at UNC has a very strict requirement about the format of thesis. Check this web page for the latest requirement.  Due to the complexity involved in thesis writing, many students in this department have chosen to use Latex. While there has been a Latex style file originally written by Rickard E. Faith, it does not meet the current (year 2002-2003) graduate school requirement. Changing format in Latex can be a non-trivial task, this page is created to facilitate the process. It is a collaborative effort from many students (see the Acknowledgement section). Note that this page is NOT a Latex tutorial. There are plenty literatures about this subject on the web. 

Getting Started

One can use Latex under virtually any operating system. The department has Latex installed on Unix servers. However, using Latex under Windows is recommended since it allows more flexible controls and there is a very nice Latex editing tool for PCs. To get started on a PC, follow these steps (preferably in order):

  1. Install Miktex from --- Miktex is an up-to-date implementation of TeX and related programs for Windows (all current variants) on x86 systems. It is free.
  2. Change the default page size of Miktex --- Miktex's default page size is A4. To change the default size to US Letter once and for all, find the file under Miktex installation (by default it is at c:\texmf\dvips\config\). Find out the following text block and comment out them with % 
    @ a4 210mm 297mm
         @+ ! %%DocumentPaperSizes: a4
         @+ %%BeginPaperSize: a4
         @+ a4
    @+ %%EndPaperSize
  3. Install Ghostscript and GSview They are free too.
  4. (Optional) Install WinEdt (NOT winedit ) --- WinEdt™ (shareware) is a powerful, extremely flexible and versatile native editor and shell for MS Windows with a strong predisposition towards the creation of LaTeX documents. It is highly recommended, especially for starters. The OOTF group has a site license. 

By now, you should be able to use Latex under Windows. A sample PDF that meets the graduate school format requirement as of May 2003 can be found here. The latex source files with necessary style files can be found here. Try to compile the main latex file (sample.tex) under Winedt to see if you can produce the same result. If so, congratulations, you only have the contents of your thesis or dissertation to worry about. 


  1. What is a good reference book for Latex?
  2. I print the sample PDF, but the margins are not right, why?
  3. How to insert the extra space between entries in the list of figures (or tables)?
  4. How to define short versions of captions to be listed in the list of figures (or tables)?
  5. Which biography style should be used to pass the inspection of the "Margin Lady"?
  6. How to embed ALL fonts (including the times family) in a PDF file?



The original Latex style file (UNCthesis.sty) was written by Rickard E. Faith in 1996. Since then, it has been modified by John Keyser, Tom Hudson, Michele Weigle, and Ruigang Yang.

This page was originally started by Ruigang Yang