Seismic design rests on authorized engineering procedures, principles and criteria meant to design or retrofit structures subject to earthquake exposure . Those criteria are barely consistent with the contemporary state of the knowledge about building structures .
The price of poor seismic design may be enormous. Nevertheless, seismic design has always been a trial and error process no matter it was based upon physical laws or empirical knowledge.
To practice seismic design, seismic analysis or seismic evaluation of new and existing civil engineering projects in California, by the way, an engineer should, normally, pass examination on Seismic Principles. 
- Lindeburg, Michael R.; Baradar, Majid (2001). Seismic Design of Building Structures. Professional Publications. ISBN 0943198232.
- Housner, George W.; Jennings, Paul C. (1982). Earthquake Design Criteria. EERI. ISBN 1888577525.
- Earthquake-Resistant Construction
- Valentin Shustov (2012), "Seismic fitness: on some features of earthquake engineering," http://nees.org/resources/4469/download/Seismic_fitness.pdf.
- Civil Engineer Examination Seismic Principles Test Plan, July 2006 http://www.pels.ca.gov/applicants/plan_civseism.pdf