Master of Humanities

MH with a concentration in Communication

Communication is the key to success – personally and professionally. With TU’s Master of Communication program, you will learn everything from ancient communication philosophies to transmedia storytelling, as well as theories of persuasion to politics and news. Our grads have found that this program was their key to advancement in journalism, grant writing and public relations.

Graduate Program Tabs

This online course of study will lead Tiffin University students through the history and practice of media, communication, and related technology from ancient times to the digital age. Courses such as Philosophy of Communication, Politics and the News, Transmedia Storytelling, New Media, and Cyber Cultures and Issues in Cyberspace navigate students through the political, legal, and social ramifications of 21st century media practices.

Tiffin University’s Master of Humanities Communication concentration offers the benefits of a comprehensive curriculum taught by professors who are highly qualified academically and professionally, in an online environment that provides students with the flexibility they need to balance life and learning.

The Communication concentration presents students with an effective background for teaching Communication at a two-year college, or for continuing on to a Ph.D. program.

Did you know?

  • According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for Public Relations Specialists was $54,170 in May, 2012.
  • Employment of public/media relations specialists is projected to grow 12 percent from 2012 to 2022. Employment growth will be driven by the need for organizations to maintain their public image.

Potential Career Opportunities in Communication:

  • Public Relations Specialist
  • Editor
  • Higher Education Administration
  • Social Media Specialist
  • Media Relations
  • Technical Writer
  • Event Organizer

Communication Concentration 18 hours
Choose six of the following 3-credit courses

  • COM520 Philosophy of Communication
  • COM522 Logic, Reasoning, and Persuasion
  • COM531 Transmedia Storytelling
  • COM532 Documentary Film
  • COM580 Politics and the News
  • COM610 Teaching College Communication
  • COM625 Philosophers and Philosophies of the Axial Age
  • COM630 Issues in Cyberspace
  • COM631 New Media

Master of Humanities: Interdisciplinary Core 9 hours

  • ART623 Aesthetics
  • ENG564 Literary Theory
  • HUM510 Introduction to Graduate Humanities

Capstone or Exam Option 3 hours

  • HUM680 Capstone Project or HUM681 Comprehensive Exam

Total MH 30 hours


This is a sample course sequence to illustrate course offerings for this major. Consult the official Academic Bulletin for detailed registration and advising information.

Online - Offered in a 15-week format with start dates in January, May and August

Philosophy of Communication (COM520) - This course is a survey of the genealogy of communication and how communication creates shared experiences between people. Through a collection of readings, students will examine how and why society thinks about communication the way it does. Philosophy of Communication is generally concerned with analytical, theoretical and political issues that cross different discipline boundaries. It explores how people live their lives and deal with the conflicts that are inevitable whenever communication occurs in a society, whether in person, in groups, electronically or through the mass media. Throughout the course, students are exposed to the broader study of the field and how it relates to contemporary philosophical arguments, positions and concerns. By studying the historical and social contexts for communication, students will come to understand and appreciate how meaning is created through human interaction, more about themselves and how they relate to others.

Logic, Reasoning, and Persuasion (COM522) - This course studies the development of reasoning and formal logic and its relationship to persuasion and argumentation. It provides an overview of logical thinking, distinguishing rational inquiry from mythological inquiry and regulative thinking from associative thinking. Students will learn to articulate logical thinking or reasoning as a process of making logical argument and will discuss 3 basic modes of reasoning in persuasion and argumentation: deduction, induction, and abduction, explaining their practical applications in the studies of humanities. Students will also be introduced to possible world semantics and thought experiments, which help participants to build logical foundations for developing rational, independent, critical, and creative thinking.

Transmedia Storytelling (COM531) - Transmedia storytelling engages audiences across media multi-dimensionally. Students learn to provide critical information, back story and details of an ongoing narrative through multiple media means such as comic books, films, television programs, web content, mobile content, social networks and games, creating a more expansive and immersive experience for the audience. The course examines the role and structure of narrative in audience engagement and who dynamic new trends in media content development impact consumers. Students will analyze case studies, and upon completion of this course, evaluate and develop a transmedia story-strategy.

Documentary Film (COM532) - Documentary films have emerged as a popular medium for non-fiction storytelling. This course will give a conceptual overview of the form, strategies, and conventions of documentary films and videos. We will screen historical and contemporary documentaries to examine questions of defining the genre, ethical dilemmas, the debate over objectivity, and the ways that documentaries can stimulate critical thinking about the construction of our social world. Students will need to join a movie subscription service to gain timely access to the films for each week. Please note that it will be very difficult to access these films outside of the U.S., and so students living internationally are advised to check on the accessibility of the films before registering for this course.

Politics and the News (COM580) - This course will critically analyze how the news media influenced public discussion of political and social issues in the 20th and 21st centuries, as well as examine how these issues were debated in the news. Drawing on readings from political science, communications and history, students will also examine how political powers in mass democracies use the news media as a mechanism of persuasion and social control.

If you want to learn more about our online or on-campus programs for working adults, click here.


 Dr. Aaron Burton, Ph.D
 Dr. Aaron Burton, Ph.D

Aaron Burton, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Communication

Chair, Humanities Programs

School of Arts & Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., Ohio University
  • M.A., University of Findlay
  • Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Aaron Burton, Ph.D.

Dr. Aaron Burton, Assistant Professor of Communications, earned a Ph.D. in Communication Studies, Foci: Rhetoric & Religion from Bowling Green State University. He earned a Master of Arts in Education from University of Findlay, a Bachelor of Science in Communication from Ohio University, and an Associate of Arts with concentration in Social Sciences also from Ohio University.

Since coming to Tiffin University he has served on The School of Arts & Sciences Internship Committee and will hold the position of Chair of Humanities Department beginning in the 2014 Academic Year.

Prior to becoming a faculty member at Tiffin University, Dr. Burton taught for nine years in Communications at Bowling Green State University in the Department of Communication and at Owens Community College.  At Bowling Green State University, he was Assistant Basic Course Direction in the School of Communication Studies.

Dr. Burton has written Jesus in the Movies: A Rhetorical Analysis of Selected Films from 1912-2004, Published by Edwin Mellen (2004). He has attended and presented at numerous workshops and national conferences.  He has served for eight years as an editorial board member for the Ohio Communication Journal. He is very active in several professor organizations and is a member of the National Communication Association, Central States Communication Association, Ohio Communication Association, Religious Communication Association, Graduate Communication, and the Midwest Popular Culture Association/American Culture Association.

Aaron Burton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication
Aaron Burton, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication
Dr. Jan H. Samoriski, Ph.D.
Dr. Jan H. Samoriski, Ph.D.

Jan Samoriski, Ph.D., RN, EMT-P

Professor of Communication

School of Arts & Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.S., in Broadcast Journalism, Radford University
  • M.S., in Corporate and Professional Communication, Radford University
  • Ph.D., in Mass Communication, Bowling Green State University
  • A.S.N., Excelsior College

Jan Samoriski, Ph.D., RN, EMT-P

Dr. Jan Samoriski (Ph.D., RN, EMT-P) joined the Tiffin University faculty in 2006 after ten years at the University of Michigan - Dearborn where he taught electronic media and served as Communications Chair and Director of Communications Program. At Tiffin University Samoriski has held appointments as Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences and Dean of Graduate Studies.

Samoriski earned his undergraduate degree in broadcast journalism from Radford University and worked as a television producer and director at NBC-TV affiliates in Virginia and Massachusetts. He holds a Master of Science degree in Corporate and Professional Communication (Radford University), a Ph.D. in Mass Communication with an emphasis in telecommunications law and technology (Bowling Green State University) and an A.S.N in Nursing (Excelsior College). In addition to his academic degrees, Samoriski maintains certifications in Trauma Nursing (TNCC), Advanced Cardiac Life Support (ACLS), Pediatric Advanced Life Support (ACLS), Basic Life Support (BLS) and NIH Stroke Certification.

Samoriski teaches across the communications curriculum in several areas, including oral communication, organizational, mass communication, electronic media, new media, social media, crisis and risk communication, media production and cyberspace law. He is author of numerous academic peer reviewed publications dealing with Internet issues pertaining to unsolicited commercial e-mail, electronic privacy, encryption, internet navigation, broadcast regulation and indecency and obscenity online. He is author of the first communication textbook to focus on cyberlaw, "Issues in cyberspace: Communication, Technology, Law and Society on the Internet Frontier,” (Allyn & Bacon, 2002). More recently, he published “Global Communication Law” in Global Communication (Roman & Littlefield, 2019) and “Encryption and Hacking: Cyphers, Hacks and Attacks on the Digital Frontier” in Reimagning Communication (Routledge, 2020).

Samoriski is a Registered Nurse (RN), Paramedic, Level II Firefighter, Master Scuba Driver and General Class Amateur Radio Operator. He has over 20-years of training and experience in emergency services and response (911), bioterrorism and hazardous materials.

As an RN, Samoriski has had assignments as a Travel Nurse and has worked at several regional hospital Emergency Departments. He is also active professionally as a freelance writer and communications consultant.

Jan Samoriski, Ph.D., R...
Professor of Communication
Jan Samoriski, Ph.D., RN, EMT-P
Professor of Communication
Dr. Colleen Vallo, Ph.D.
Dr. Colleen Vallo, Ph.D.

Colleen Vallo, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Communication

School of Arts & Sciences
Degrees & Certificates
  • B.A., Wright State University
  • M.A., Ohio State University
  • Ph.D., Bowling Green State University

Colleen Vallo, Ph.D.

Dr. Colleen Vallo has been a member of the faculty at Tiffin University since 2006. She teaches courses in communication and journalism at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. Dr. Vallo is also adviser of the campus newspaper. Before joining our faculty, Dr. Vallo taught at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. She previously worked in journalism reporting for weekly and daily newspapers, serving as a state-house correspondent in Columbus and working in public relations for public schools. Her teaching specialties include mass communication law, critical analysis of the media, and intercultural communication.

Colleen Vallo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication
Colleen Vallo, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication


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    Class of 2018
    Louisville, Colorado

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