We present a quantitative physical model for glass substrate polarization and study the glass polarization by measuring the capacitance drift from microelectromechanical capacitor test structure. The model consists of mobile and immobile charge species, which are related to alkali metals and non-bridging oxygen in glass. The model explains consistently our results and the previously observed non-homogeneous charging effect in a radio-frequency switch fabricated on a glass substrate. The results indicate that the bulk properties of the glass layer itself can be a significant source of drift. The modeling allows estimation of the drift behavior of the several kinds of device structures.