The MIT thesis template in LaTeX

The LaTeX template

The current MIT thesis template was developed in 2023, using up-to-date LaTeX coding, to meet the current formatting requirements of the MIT Libraries. The title and abstract pages are automatically laid out from information provided by the user. This template includes options to use a variety of fonts, and it is compatible with either pdfTeX or unicode engines such as luaLaTeX. When using LaTeX formats dated November 2022 or later, the resulting pdf file meets the PDF/A-2b archivability standard. A standard TeX Live installation includes all other packages required by the template.

This template was written by John Lienhard at the request of the MIT Libraries.

Specifications for MIT theses

The formatting requirements for MIT theses are set by the MIT Libraries, as described at this url: Questions regarding these specifications should be directed to


The original LaTeX 2.09 template was written by Stephen Gildea in the late 1980s (also in CTAN, here). That template was edited by many later students, leading to the files archived here.

LaTeX has changed greatly since the original MIT thesis template was written. LaTeX 2.09 was replaced by LaTeX2e in 1994. New engines were developed, particularly pdfTeX during the 1990s and Unicode-aware engines in the decades that followed. Many packages and fonts were developed to accompany the original platform, particularly after 2000; and major updates to the LaTeX kernel began in 2018. Over the years, the MIT Libraries have changed the required format several times, especially as electronic thesis submission has become the norm. The original template served MIT well; but by the early 2020s, it was substantially out of date. That situation motivated the creation of this new template.

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