The rocker was declared a doctor of music by officials at the school in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Johnson, who grew up in the local area, donned a traditional gown and swapped his trademark flat hat for a university cap during the ceremony.
Northumbria University's vice-chancellor and chief executive, Professor Andrew Wathey, says, "It is fitting that we honour one of the most distinctive voices in rock music, who is also a native of the North-East...
"It is interesting to reflect on the importance of culture to collective life of the North-East and of the cultural industries as a major U.K. export.
"Brian Johnson symbolises both of these things and, moreover, has been an inspiration to generations of young musicians over several decades."