PULLMAN, Wash. — Washington State University is one of the top national public universities, according to U.S. News and World Report magazine.

For the third year in a row, the ranking puts Washington State in the upper half of the country’s major universities.

In the magazine’s “America’s Best Colleges” cover story of the Sept. 11 issue, Washington State is tied for 47th in the “Top Publics” rankings. The tie is with Florida State University, Massachusetts-Amherst, New Hampshire, and Vermont. Leading the list is the University of California at Berkeley.

In addition, Washington State is ranked as a “National University, Tier 2.” Other universities ranked as Tier 2 include Iowa State, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue, Texas A&M, Arizona, and Colorado-Boulder. The magazine divides institutions into four tiers.

In the “Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs with Ph.D. Programs” category, Washington State is tied for 59th with eight other institutions, including Auburn, Clemson and Pittsburgh.

According to the magazine, the tiers to which universities and college have been assigned are modifications of the groupings developed in 1994 by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, which classifies schools by their mission. The 228 “national universities” offer a full range of undergraduate majors, plus master’s and doctoral degrees, and emphasize faculty research.

“Through these rankings, I’m pleased our university’s quality education in a caring community is recognized,” said Washington State President V. Lane Rawlins.