This paper deals with the assessment of adobe structures using non-linear dynamic Finite Element (FE) analysis. Numerical simulation of adobe masonry follows a continuum approach and is based on brittle fracture concepts that are expressed through a damaged plasticity constitutive law. The selection of appropriate modelling parameters is hereby discussed. Spatial FE models representing a traditional single-storey dwelling, before and after the implementation of certain strengthening interventions which modify the roof diaphragm configuration, are developed. The FE models are subjected to time history analyses using a real time accelerogram from a past earthquake. Comparisons among the structures' seismic responses are made in terms of the predicted damage distribution, displacement capacity and overall lateral resistance. Useful conclusions regarding the effect that different roof diaphragm configurations may pose on the dynamic behavior of adobe structures are derived. Finally, critical issues that future research should address in order to enable the efficient computational analysis of earthen structures are identified.