The Seagulls went into Monday's game knowing they would secure a place in the top flight next season if they bettered third-placed Huddersfield's result at Derby.
Chris Hughton's side kicked off two hours earlier than the Terriers, and victory for Brighton meant Huddersfield needed victory to keep their narrow automatic promotion hopes alive.
Huddersfield travelled to Derby, who themselves almost certainly needed a result to maintain a play-off push, and looked set for a win until Jacob Butterfield's deflected effort two minutes from time secured a 1-1 draw to send the Seagulls up.
Brighton have not played top flight football since they dropped out of England's leading division in 1983.
Promotion this season follows serveral near-misses in years gone by, with three failed play-off campaigns in the past four seasons.
Despite securing a spot in the Premier League, the battle for the Championship crown remains alive with Newcastle seven points back in second.