Hu received her Bachelor of Dental Surgery degree from National Taiwan University in 1985. Three years later, she received a specialty certificate in pediatric dentistry from the University of Southern California. While at USC, Hu earned a PhD in craniofacial biology (1990), completed a postdoctoral fellowship in craniofacial molecular biology and held the position of clinical assistant professor.
In 1993, she joined the Department of Pediatric Dentistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio where she was promoted to the rank of associate professor with tenure.
She joined the U-M School of Dentistry in 2002 as an associate professor with tenure. In 2005 she was named the director of pediatric dentistry and in 2006 was promoted to full professor.