A monolithic stationary phase is the continuous unitary porous structure prepared by in situ polymerization or consolidation inside the column tubing and, if necessary, the surface is functionalized to convert it into a sorbent with the desired chromatographic binding properties [J. Chromatogr. A 855 (1999) 273]. Monolithic stationary phases have attracted considerable attention in liquid chromatography and capillary electrochromatography in recent years due to their simple preparation procedure, unique properties and excellent performance, especially for separation of biopolymers. This review summarizes the preparation, characterization and applications of the monolithic stationary phases. In addition, the disadvantages and limitations of the monolithic stationary phases are also briefly discussed.