Current seismic strength-design methods used in America for reinforced masonry shear wall buildings are summarized, particularly with reference to displacement demand and capacity. New methods for limit state design of reinforced masonry shear-wall buildings per the TMS 402 code are introduced. Code issues are discussed as they relate to maximum reinforcement, effects of vertical compression, and the need for boundary elements. Future advancements in seismic design procedures that enhance both flexibility and displacement capacity of masonry shear-wall buildings are discussed. These include development of new hybrid systems where a set of somewhat stiff masonry structural panels can be coupled with a ductile and flexible steel frame using innovative link or fuse connector plates. Such connectors concentrate plasticity to a small steel plate, and add considerable flexibility to a lateral-force system. A second proposed scheme for low-damage design is presented that relies on rocking behavior of post-tensioned masonry shear walls.