Water use efficiency (WUE) and nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) of the spring maize need to be further improved in the semiarid climate type area of Northeast China. We have undertaken a 2-year field test in the 2017- 2018 growing period. The objective was to find out the effects of conventional furrow irrigation (FI), surfaced drip irrigation (DI), and subsurface shallow drip irrigation (SSDI) on the grain yield (GY), WUE & NUE of spring maize. The GY of SSDI and DI was 11.3% and 16.2% higher than that of FI, respectively. The WUE of SSDI and DI was higher than that of FI by 19.4% and 31.2%. And the NUE have respectively raised by 13.6 % and 19.9 %. The performance of SSDI was significantly better than DI. In the soil layer of 0- 60cm, the root length density (RLD) of FI was substantially increased compared with that of DI. However, SSDI and DI were higher than FI below 60 cm soil layer. Drip irrigation, especially SSDI, increased the total nitrogen accumulation in the plant, decreased the 〖NO〗_3^--N contents at the harvest stage, ensured the topsoil‘s nitrogen supply, and thus improved the NUE. In general, the SSDI technique substantially improved the GY, WUE and NUE of spring maize in the semiarid area of Northeast China.