A theoretical study on the design of surface plasmon resonance (SPR) based sensor by admittance loci method has been reported in this paper with the main emphasis being given to the effect of the prism material in a conventional Kretschmann structure in attenuated total internal reflection (ATIR) mode. Several sensing media such as water, acetone, methanol etc have been investigated using different types of prism materials to study their effect on SPR sensing and validated by corresponding admittance loci plots as well as respective SPR curves. The performance of the sensor based on choice of the prism material has been discussed with the help of sensitivity plots giving due to the importance of dynamic range of the designed sensor. Simulations have been carried out in MATLAB 7.1 environment. © 2013 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.