The There Will Be Blood star donned a traditional cap and gown to accept the accolade at an official ceremony at Bristol University.
Day-Lewis was chosen to receive the Doctor of Letters degree in recognition of his outstanding career achievements and because of his link to the city - the Oscar winner attended the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
The actor spent three years at the academy, which was opened by Laurence Olivier in 1946.
Day-Lewis isn't the only celebrity who picked up an academic nod this week - Orlando Bloom collected his degree from the University of Kent, and Sex and the City's Kim Cattrall was made a fellow at Liverpool John Moores University.
The Pirates of the Caribbean star, 33, donned the traditional cap and gown and was presented with the accolade from officials at the University of Kent in recognition of his career achievements.
Bloom was joined at the graduation ceremony by his fiancee, model Miranda Kerr, his parents and his sister, and he admits he is flattered by the honour.
Speaking before the ceremony, he said, "It's a really big deal. It's an exciting day for me. I'm really honoured to be back in my hometown. I have so many amazing memories of the cathedral and Canterbury.
"I have lived near the university so it's like my playground. It's a huge, huge honour and I feel chuffed (happy), as does my mother - nobody more than my mother."
Bloom wasn't the only celebrity handed a university fellowship on Monday - Sex and the City star Kim Cattrall was the guest of honour at Liverpool John Moores University.
The actress, who was born in Britain and raised in Canada, accepted the academic nod from John Moores University on Monday (12Jul10).
The 53 year old, who donned cap and gown for the ceremony at Liverpool Cathedral, told graduates the honour was "a dream come true".
Proud Cattrall shared the moment with her mother Shane and other relatives.
In a speech to students, she said, "My family is here with me today. My mum, my aunties, my cousins, my friends. They have given me such confidence to make me believe that I could achieve anything I wanted to if I worked hard enough and I stayed true to myself.
"To all of you graduating today, I want to offer my heartfelt congratulations - you've worked damn hard."