Damage detection using changes in global dynamic characteristics has been a hot research topic in recent years. In the present paper, based on natural frequencies and mode shapes, a numerical tudy locating and assessing damage in a circular cylindrical shell is presented. The axial position of the damage can be easily obtained by comparing the theoretical and measured frequency changes due to damage. Additional information of mode shapes is introduced to locate the exact damage position. And the damage extent can be estimated by the first order approximation method. The feasibility and practicality of the damage detection scheme are evaluated for several damage scenarios by locating and sizing damage in free-clamped shells. The results illustrate that the proposed detection scheme can confidently locate the single or multiple positions of damage. It is also observed that damage extent can be estimated with a relatively small error.