I have an above-average undergraduate GPA (7.5/10.0, top 20% of my class), but it is not exceptional. I have top scores in all my labs, but my written test scores are all over the place. However, I do have ~2 years of research experience and three good publications, two being in the top-5 conferences of my area (CVPR second co-author and ECCV second author, for Computer Vision) and a paper in a top-tier conference workshop (ICLR workshop, first co-author).
I know for sure that I want to pursue a Ph.D. My question is, with a mediocre UGPA, would it be better to first apply for MS to boost my grades, or directly apply to top Ph.D. programs (Berkeley, CMU etc.) with professors working in my sub-area within Vision?