My university requires the chapter headings to be on a separate page and vertically and horizontally cantered. Based on some of the answers on this forum i used the following code to achieve it.

\documentclass[thesis,letterpaper,12pt]{utthesis}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}                % fancy headers and footers
\usepackage{titlesec}
\titleformat{\chapter}[display]{\vfil\normalfont\huge\bfseries\centering}{\chaptertitlename\ \thechapter}{20pt}{\Huge}    % for vertical and horizontal centring
\setcounter{chapter}{-1}  % PACKAGES PRELOADED WITH CLASS: amsmath,amsthm,amssymb,setspace,geometry,hyperref,and color
\begin{document}
\pagenumbering{alph} % this is needed to clear certain issues with the hyperref package
\pagenumbering{roman}
\setcounter{page}{10}
\tableofcontents
\include{chapters/preface}
\include{chapters/chap1}


I was running all fine, but now i have noticed that the table of contents is not showing properly. It starts at almost the end of the page although it should start from the beginning of the page. Can anyone help?

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You can move the \titleformat command to the body of your document immediately before the point where you want the change to begin acting; in your case you can move \titleformat from the preamble and use it after \tableofcontents:

\documentclass[thesis,letterpaper,12pt]{utthesis}
\usepackage{fancyhdr}                % fancy headers and footers
\usepackage{titlesec}
\setcounter{chapter}{-1}  % PACKAGES PRELOADED WITH CLASS: amsmath,amsthm,amssymb,setspace,geometry,hyperref,and color
\begin{document}
\pagenumbering{alph} % this is needed to clear certain issues with the hyperref package
\pagenumbering{roman}
\setcounter{page}{10}
`