A comprehensive study of displacement-based design for reinforced concrete bridge columns is conducted. Section analysis software UC-Fyber is used to analyze the bending moment and curvature performance of columns’ sections, based on this, a new calculation method of target displacement of RC bridge columns is educed. Elastic displacement response spectrum, inelastic displacement response spectrum and inelastic demand spectrum are educed from acceleration spectra of Chinese Code JTG/T B02-01-2008; three simplified methods for displacement demand determination are developed. Example of the displacement-based design of bridge column was studied and checked by dynamic inelastic time-history analysis to clarify the reasonableness of the developed methods. Research shows that target displacement of RC bridge columns is relevant with concrete strength grade, longitudinal reinforcement ratio, height and the section form, etc; equivalent linearization method and inelastic displacement response spectrum method are based on the design response spectrum, could reach the target displacement and consider structure safety requirement; demand spectrum method is a simple and direct way to show design with graphics mode, with deficiency of structure capacity spectrum curve from pushover analysis differing from the reality.