Mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) retaining walls have been designed and constructed for more than 40 years, and their popularity has steadily grown due to low cost, ease of construction, and excellent performance record. Observations from post-earthquake reconnaissance efforts have also indicated that these retaining wall systems exhibit good performance under seismic loading, often exceeding the performance of conventional rigid and semi-rigid retaining wall systems. However, significant questions remain with regard to seismic design procedures for MSE walls, due in part to lack of sufficient test data for dynamic loading conditions. Data from centrifuge and 1-g shake table tests on small- to moderate-size specimens have been limited by scaling effects and use of nonstandard materials and methods. The objective of this paper is to describe an ongoing research program at UCSD to conduct dynamic tests of full-scale (up to 7 m tall) MSE retaining walls using an outdoor shake table. The resulting data will provide important new information for the development of design standards for seismic regions and assessment of numerical models used to analyze the dynamic response of MSE walls.