American talkshow host Oprah Winfrey has received a honourary doctorate from Harvard University.

The 59-year-old international television celebrity was on campus to deliver Harvard's Commencement Address (graduation speech), an honour previously bestowed on Harry Potter author JK Rowling and Microsoft founder Bill Gates, among others.

Winfrey has also addressed graduating classes at Stanford and Duke Universities, as well as the Spelman College.

According to the Harvard Crimson, Oprah Winfrey stressed the challenges of recovering from failure and encouraged students to treat failure as "life trying to move us in another direction".

"At some point, you are bound to stumble. You will at some point fall, and when you do, I want you remember this -There is no such thing as failure; failure is just life trying to move us in another direction," she explained.

"Here's the key. Learn from every mistake, because every experience and encounter, particularly your mistakes, are there to teach you and force you into being more of who you are," the veteran businesswoman added.

"Each of you has been blessed with this enormous opportunity of attending this prestigious school. You now have a chance to better your life, the lives of your neighbors, and also the life of our country," Winfrey concluded, adding, "When you do that, let me tell you what I know for sure: that's when your story gets really good."

Check out a video of Oprah Winfrey's Commencement Address at Harvard University.