One- and two-dimensional models of glutamate diffusion, uptake, and binding in the synaptic cleft were developed to determine if the release of single vesicles of glutamate would saturate NMDA and non-NMDA receptors. Ranges of parameter values were used in the simulations to determine the conditions when saturation could occur. Single vesicles of glutamate did not saturate NMDA receptors unless diffusion was very slow and the number of glutamate molecules in a vesicle was large. However, the release of eight vesicles at 400 Hz caused NMDA receptor saturation for all parameter values tested. Glutamate uptake was found to reduce NMDA receptor saturation, but the effect was smaller than that of changes in the diffusion coefficient or in the number of glutamate molecules in a vesicle. Non-NMDA receptors were not saturated unless diffusion was very slow and the number of glutamate molecules in a vesicle was large. The release of eight vesicles at 400 Hz caused significant non-NMDA receptor desensitization. The results suggest that NMDA and non-NMDA receptors are not saturated by single vesicles of glutamate under usual conditions, and that tetanic input, of the type typically used to induce long-term potentiation, will increase calcium influx by increasing receptor binding as well as by reducing voltage-dependent block of NMDA receptors.