Abstract: A theoretical model is presented for the sensitivity of a fluorescence-based molecularly imprinted polymer (MIP) sensor. This sensor consists of a layer of MIP on a transparent substrate; the analyte binds in the MIP layer and is detected by fluorescence emission perpendicular to the layer surface. The MIP thickness, analyte concentration, and the optical absorption characteristics of the MIP are included in the model. To test the model, we fabricated urethane-based MIP sensors imprinted with anthracene. These sensors ranged in thickness from 100-2000 microns and had anthracene concentrations of 0-600 ppm. The theoretical prediction for fluorescence emission from these sensors showed excellent agreement and suggests that the theoretical model may be used to facilitate optical MIP sensor design. Finally, the rebinding rate for the MIP sensors was measured to be about 4% of the theoretical number of imprinted sites or roughly six times the background binding rate of anthracene to non-imprinted polymers.