The goal of the work is to experimentally verify Monte Carlo modeling of fluorescence and diffuse reflectance measurements in turbid, tissue phantom models. In particular, two series of simulations and experiments, in which one optical parameter (absorption or scattering coefficient) is varied while the other is fixed, are carried out to assess the effect of the absorption coefficient and scattering coefficient on the fluorescence and diffuse reflectance measured from a turbid medium. Moreover, simulations and experiments are carried out for several fiber optic probe geometries that are designed to sample small tissue volumes. Additionally, a group of conversion expressions are derived to convert the optical properties and fluorescence quantum yield measured from tissue phantoms for use in Monte Carlo simulations. The conversions account for the differences between the definitions of the absorption coefficient and fluorescence quantum yield of fluorophores in a tissue phantom model and those in a Monte Carlo simulation. The results indicate that there is good agreement between the simulated and experimentally measured results in most cases. This dataset can serve as a systematic validation of Monte Carlo modeling of fluorescent light propagation in tissues. The simulations are carried out for a wide range of absorption and scattering coefficients as well as ratios of scattering coefficient to absorption coefficient, and thus would be applicable to tissue optical properties over a wide wavelength range (UV-visible/near infrared). The fiber optic probe geometries that are modeled in this study include those commonly used for measuring fluorescence from tissues in practice. © 2003 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.