Earthquake engineering is increasingly using nonlinear response history analysis (RHA) to demonstrate the performance of structures. This rigorous method of analysis requires selection and scaling of ground motions appropriate to design hazard levels. This paper presents a modal-pushover-based scaling (MPS) procedure to scale ground motions for use in a nonlinear RHA of buildings. In the MPS method, the ground motions are scaled to match to a specified tolerance, a target value of the inelastic deformation of the first-mode inelastic single-degree-of-freedom (SDF) system whose properties are determined by the first-mode pushover analysis. Appropriate for first-mode dominated structures, this approach is extended for structures with significant contributions of higher modes by considering elastic deformation of second-mode SDF systems in selecting a subset of the scaled ground motions. Based on results presented for three actual buildings-4, 6, and 13-story-the accuracy and efficiency of the MPS procedure are established and its superiority over the ASCE/SEI 7-05 scaling procedure is demonstrated.