A novel method based on the molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction (MISPE) procedure has been developed for the simultaneous determination of concentrations of sulfonylurea herbicides such as chlorsulfuron (CS), monosulfuron (MNS), and thifensulfuron methyl (TFM) in maize samples by liquid chromatography-tandem quadrupole mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). The molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) for sulfonylurea herbicides was synthesized by precipitation polymerization using chlorsulfuron as the template molecule, 2-(diethylamino)ethyl methacrylate (DEAMA) as the functional monomer, and trimethylolpropane trimethacrylate (TRIM) as the cross-linker. The selectivities of the chlorsulfuron template and its analogs on the molecularly imprinted polymer were evaluated by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). The extraction and purification procedures for the solid-phase extraction (SPE) cartridge with a molecularly imprinted polymer as the adsorbent for the selected sulfonylurea herbicides were then established. A molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction method followed by high-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry for the determination of chlorsulfuron, monosulfuron, and thifensulfuron methyl was also established. The mean recoveries of these compounds in maize were in the range 75-110% and the limits of detection (LOD) of chlorsulfuron, monosulfuron, and thifensulfuron methyl were 0.02, 0.75, and 1.45 microg kg(-1), respectively. It was demonstrated that the MISPE-HPLC-MS/MS method could be applied to the determination of chlorsulfuron, monosulfuron, and thifensulfuron methyl in maize samples.