Bhuyan was born on 27 January 1892 to Rabilal Bhuyan and Bhubaneshwari Bhuyan at Fauzdaripatty, in Nagaon district, Assam. His mother died when he was young. His father's two brothers, Kankalal Bhuyan and Matilal Bhuyan, as well as Bhubaneshwari Bhuyan, died during the black fever of the late nineteenth century. Surya Kumar Bhuyan was raised by his grandmothers, Pahita and Labita. His father was the Chief District Magistrate of Nagaon district. He began his education at Nagaon but in 1904, moved to Shillong. He graduated from the Shillong Government School in 1909. In 1913, he completed his Bachelor of Arts degree in the Presidency College, Calcutta, and in 1916, completed his master's degree English in the Calcutta University. He started his career as a teacher in Jorhat Mission School. In 1918, he was appointed as a lecturer in Cotton College at Guwahati. In 1936, Bhuyan went to England to work on his PhD at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. Bhuyan became the first Assamese to be the Principal of the Cotton College, Guwahati. After which, Bhuyan began to resuscitate the Buranjis and formulate a distinct past for Assam, against its inclusion within the framework of the Indian state. In this, he continued the work of Sir Edward Gait, collecting historical manuscripts from old families and converting them into a readable format. Bhuyan served as the second President of the Governing Body of Nowgong College. He retired as the DPI Assam and took charge as the Vice Chancellor of Gauhati University.
Surya Kumar Bhuyan married Laksheshwari Bhuyan on 14 February 1917. They had six children.
Dr. Surya Kumar Bhuyan died on 5 July 1964 at the American Baptist Mission Hospital in Chhatribari of America. At the time of demise, he left his wife Laksheshwari Bhuyan, three sons and three daughters and a few grandchildren.