Giggs, 34, was made a master of arts by the University of Salford in a ceremony at the Lowry Theatre.
"I grew up in Salford and it's been a big part of my life for 30 years, so it's great to be a part of Salford University now."
Salford University Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Harloe said: "It is not only his great achievements on the pitch for which he deserves recognition, but for his valuable charity work with developing countries."
Aside from football, Giggs is an ambassador for Unicef and regularly campaigns for children in South Africa who have been made vulnerable by HIV and Aids.
He was awarded an OBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List last year for his services to football.