Sample LaTeX Thesis Template


MUN's School of Graduate Studies now has a LaTeX template and manual. You can download them from the SGS Templates page.

As of November 2013, the School of Graduate Studies have removed all links to the LaTeX thesis templates and manuals from their Templates page.


This page describes how to use the LaTeX metathesis template which can be used as a basis for your thesis. All the formatting, page numbering, margins, sections, etc. aim to be consistent with the Guidelines for Theses and Reports from the School of Graduate Studies. All the relevant formatting/style attributes and macros are located in the thesis.sty file. The LaTeX macros in this file are not very sophisticated — feel free to make or suggest improvements.

Learning LaTeX can take a little time and patience. A good reference is LaTeX: A Document Preparation System, by Leslie Lamport available at Chapters Indigo or Amazon. See the Resources section at the bottom of this page for more helpful sites regarding LaTeX


After downloading the file, you can decompress it by using the unzip program on a Linux command line as follows:

$ unzip

(Note that Linux is available on all machines running LabNet, such as the machines in The Commons.) This command will create a directory called metathesis-v2.0. (Feel free to rename the directory.) When you change into this directory, you will find all the necessary boiler-plate .tex .bib, .sty files and a Makefile which can be used to create your thesis. Some sample .eps files are also present in the figures subdirectory. You should remove them after you've put your own figures there.

Hopefully the intended contents of each of the .tex files files is obvious and they can be modified using any text editor. Most of the content currently in these files is just place holder text — replace it with your own content. You should first make appropriate modifications to the thesis.tex file (e.g. thesis title, your name, degree, date, etc.). The ref.bib file contains the bibliography (see Lamport's book for more information). You shouldn't have to modify the thesis.sty file and you should have to modify the Makefile file only when adding or deleting .tex files or figures. If you have any questions or if you notice any discrepancies between layout of the thesis and the requirements of the SGS, then please let me know.


After adding your content to the appropriate files you can build your thesis on Linux by using the command line:

$ make

If there are no errors, then a .dvi file will be created which can be previewed with the xdvi program. If there are any errors, type 'X' and Enter to exit from LaTeX, make the appropriate changes and then re-run make.


To generate a PostScript copy of your thesis, use the following command:

$ make

The resulting PostScript file can be printed using lpr or previewed with the ghostview, ggv or evince viewers.


To generate a PDF copy of your thesis, use the following command:

$ make thesis.pdf


To generate a PDF/A-1b copy of your thesis, use the following command:

$ make ethesis.pdf

This file should satisfy SGS's ethesis submission requirements.

Cleaning up

To get rid of all the auxiliary files generated by LaTeX (including the .dvi, .ps and .pdf files), use:

$ make clean

This will not remove your .tex files. Alternatively, to remove all the intermediate files, but leave the .dvi, .ps and .pdf files intact, use:

$ make neat

Sample Output

Below are the pages of the thesis template and filler content. Click on a page thumbnail to see a larger picture. Note that these are low quality PNG files that are for demonstration/preview purposes only and are not intended to be printed. The actual PostScript and PDF files created using the above instructions are of much better quality, especially for printing.

[page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page] [page]

Common Problems

If you are using pdflatex to generate your pdf file directly, then figures may not appear in the resulting file. To fix this problem, modify the thesis.tex and thesis.sty files as follows:

In thesis.tex change:




In thesis.sty change




Graphical LaTeX Editors

Instead of using the Makefile above, you may find the following graphical environments easier to use on Linux:

Installing LaTeX on Your Own Computer


LaTeX is available on most Linux distributions via their respective package managers (e.g. synaptic, rpm, yum, apt-get, emerge, etc....) and should be relatively easy to install on your own machine if you are running Linux. If you're using Ubuntu, for example, check out the LaTeX - Community Ubuntu Documentation

Other Operating Systems

If you are using an alternative operating system, there are several sites that contain software and information to help you install LaTeX on you own machine. Unlike commerical word processing software, a lot of LaTeX-related software can be legally downloaded and redistributed for free. If you choose to install LaTeX on your own machine, then the Makefile in the file mentioned above may not be useful to you, but the the rest of the files should still be helpful. Sites with software/documentation/links for using LaTeX on your own Mac or Windows PC are given below. (I personally haven't used LaTeX recently on either of these platforms.) You should be able to find more software by using your preferred search engine.


Mac OS X

LaTeX Resources

Other helpful sites, documents and programs:

"LaTeX" CSS style from The Beauty of LaTeX web page by Dario Taraborelli.

Donald Craig (
Last modified: June 1, 2016 14:07:46 NDT
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