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Location and Facilities

Murphy Hall

Murphy Hall is a state-of-the-art facility for teaching and research of journalism, mass communication, and new media studies. A $10.5 million renovation of the building, originally built in 1939, was completed in January 2000.

View map of Murphy Hall

The first floor includes the central office, adjunct faculty offices, Student Services Center, Minnesota Journalism Center, a 150-seat auditorium, and the Murphy Hall conference center. Multimedia classrooms, faculty offices, offices for student organizations, and a vending machine room are on the second floor. The Research Division, faculty offices, and graduate student offices are on the third floor. The Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics & Law, faculty offices and additional graduate student offices are found on the fourth floor.

Murphy has more than 27,000 square feet on five floors that include:

  • four multimedia classrooms
  • a 150-seat multimedia auditorium
  • the Digital Media Studios, with capability for video editing, digital and analog audio, and labs for imaging, graphics and communication design
  • the Digital Information Resource Center (DIRC)/Sevareid Library
  • a multimedia Conference Center for distance education, short courses and professional development workshops
  • a focus group facility for advertising and public relations design and audience and media research

Digital Media Studios (DMS)

A significant feature of Murphy Hall is the convergence of graphics, news writing, and broadcast labs in a single space, the Digital Media Studios (DMS). located on the lower level of Murphy Hall.

For more information about Digital Media Studios scheduling, equipment, and policies, visit the DMS site

The DMS features:

  • three 20-workstation teaching area
  • internet and networking connectivity
  • ceiling-mounted projectors for displaying computer or video output
  • a cart-mounted computer workstation for instructor use
  • a broadcast production facility, capable of functioning independently, that also integrates with the university’s television and theater facilities in the Rarig Center

School of Journalism students not enrolled in courses with a lab component do not have access to computers in the lab but may use computers in the Sevareid Library which are similarly equipped and configured. Only students enrolled in courses requiring photographic and video equipment may use such equipment. Visit Campus Computer Labs for information about other University of Minnesota OIT computer labs.

Regular Hours

Monday through Thursday: 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. (UCard required for access to Murphy Hall after 7 p.m.) 
Friday: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Digital Information Resource Center/Sevareid Library

The Digital Information Resource Center (DIRC)/Sevareid Library is adjacent to the Digital Media Studios on the lower level of Murphy Hall. The DIRC/Sevareid Library is designed to be a high-tech information center with multimedia resources needed for instruction and research.
In addition to housing the collection of the Sevareid Library, the DIRC is equipped with both traditional and digital resources for integration into classes and use by students.

The DIRC/Sevareid Library has:

  • eight networked and interconnected Mac workstations, capable of booting either Windows or Mac OS—each with a DVD drive and VCR with playback and recording capability
  • three teaming rooms with digital editing capability

Library Hours

During Fall and Spring Semesters:

Monday - Thursday: 8.30 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Friday: 8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. 
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

During school breaks and summer:

Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - noon, 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: Closed

Note: The library is closed during official University holidays. Hours are subject to change.

Contact Information

DIRC/Sevareid Library 
School of Journalism & Mass Communication
111 Murphy Hall, 206 Church St SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Murphy Hall Conference Center

The state-of-the-art Conference Center is the showpiece of Murphy Hall. It serves as an outreach resource for internal and external groups for conferences, workshops, and other activities.

The Conference Center features:

  • conference tables that accommodate seating for 32 people
  • built-in Internet connections
  • a rear-screen-projected computer
  • DVD, VCR, cable TV, HDTV and a document camera
  • audio and video conferencing with two remote-controlled cameras and a control room
  • desktop microphones for audience member participation

The Conference Center also has a reception area (the historic Heggen Room), catering kitchen, and registration desk with a plasma screen for electronic displays.

Communication Research Lab/Focus Group Room

Another major asset of Murphy Hall is the focus group research suite, located on the third floor. This suite is part of the SJMC Research Division's efforts to promote and support graduate-level experimental research. It has a reception area room, conference room, an observation control room, three testing rooms and a small kitchen. Additional features of the research lab include an eye-tracker machine available with advance notice and by check-out. A mobile game lab cart is equipped with the latest in electronic game-playing devices for use in game simulation research studies.

Learn more about room scheduling and usage guidelines, the eyetracker for research, and the gamelab.

Usability Services Lab

The SJMC is one of five stakeholders in the Usability Services Lab, housed in the Walter Library Digital Technology Center. The other stakeholders are:

As a stakeholder, the SJMC has access to state-of-the-art lab equipment, including sophisticated eye-tracking technology. The partnership provides all stakeholders with a full array of resources, technology and testing areas for conducting usability and media effectiveness research. As part of the arrangement, the SJMC makes the focus group room in Murphy Hall available to the other stakeholders upon request.

The SJMC is one of the very few journalism and mass communication schools with this level of access to state-of-the-art usability and eye-tracking equipment. Graduate students have availed themselves of these resources as have SJMC faculty. The INMS, as part of its Digital Story Effects Lab project, used the facilities to conduct intensive research into new story forms and their impact on news audiences. The availability of the lab has made several grant proposals more feasible and attractive to potential funders.