The Doctorate of Health Sciences was presented to Goodes by the University's Vice-Chancellor and principal in a ceremony at the University yesterday.
The human rights advocate and former Australian of the Year was commended for being a champion "on and off of the field".
"His sporting achievements are remarkable but he is larger than football,” Principal Dr Michael Spence said.
"His dedication to human rights, the fight against racism and to helping young Aboriginal people, have made an indelible mark on the Australian landscape."
An Adnyamathanha and Narungga man, the former Sydney Swans player is referred to as one of the most accomplished football players within the AFL.
His career highlights include two Brownlow Medals and a record 372 matches.
However, it's his work beyond the sporting community that has made all the difference.
In 2009, together with two former teammates, Adam established the Go Foundation – a scholarship program to help empower the next generation of Indigenous role models.
In 2014, he was named Australian of the Year for his work with Indigenous youth community programs and his passionate campaign against racism.
Dean of the Faculty of Health Sciences, Professor Kathryn Refshauge, said the award recognised the plethora of contributions Goodes has made within the community.
"Adam is a leader and highly respected role model, not only for the Aboriginal community but also for the wider Australian community,” Refshauge said.
"He embodies the creativity, courage and determination we hope to see in our graduates."
In his speech, Goodes discussed the importance of education saying it is the "underlying key" for accomplishing goals.
"Education doesn't just provide people with a knowledge and understanding of the world and the people around them, but enables people to dream, and dream big," Goodes said.
"Education is the foundation for achieving our dreams, not the guarantee."