Molecular diagnosis of complex inherited disorders, population screening of genetic diseases, studies of the genetic basis of variable drug response (pharmacogenetics) as well as discovery and investigation of new drug targets (pharmacogenomics) involve screening for mutations in multiple DNA samples. Furthermore, the development of a third generation of the human genome map, based on single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), requires screening for allelic variants through all of the three billion basepairs in the human genome. Thus, the need for high throughput mutation screening methods is great and is rapidly increasing. Traditional methods for mutation screening often involve slab-gel electrophoresis analyses which are laborious and difficult to automate. However, recent developments in capillary electrophoresis systems for DNA fragment analysis have made fully automated mutation screening possible and have dramatically increased the possible sample throughput. This review describes the recent advances in capillary electrophoresis of DNA and summarize the various methods for mutation screening based on this technique.