The chord modulus method mostly used in the layer-wise summation method to evaluate the total settlement of subgrade at present. In order to analyze the deformation field, it is necessary that one of key problem should be considered and solved how to use the chord modulus to implement the computation of the finite element method. Firstly, this paper reviews the characteristics of chord modulus theory. Secondly, the solution how the chord modulus is introduced into the finite element method is discussed, and subsequently the corresponding nonlinear finite element codes are developed. The computational results show that the nonlinear finite element method based on the chord modulus should be recommended owing to its potential application that it may consider the deformation field of the whole subgrade.